New API Report Shows 400% Increase in Attackers

Today Salt Security have released the findings from their latest Salt Labs State of API Security Report, Q1 2023, which found that there has been a 400% increase in unique attackers (over 4800) in the last six months. The report makes it clear that attackers are getting wise to exploiting APIs – and they’re persistent. Attackers will try time and time again until something works. Last year’s report found that API attacks increased 681% in the last 12 months.

The report also found that 80% of attacks happened over authenticated APIs, making it a widespread problem for all. Given that it is one of the easiest types of attack to execute, it is no surprise that attackers are increasingly targeting this route into an organisation.

The State of API Security Report pulls data from a combination of nearly 400 survey responses and empirical data from Salt customers across a range of industries, company sizes, and job responsibilities. This year’s report, the company’s fifth, provides the deepest insights yet, including “in the wild” API vulnerability research from Salt Labs that demonstrates how respondents’ top concerns in API security manifest in real-world scenarios.

Key findings from the report include:

  • API security has emerged as a significant business issue, not just a security problem, with 48% of survey respondents saying that API security has become a C-level discussion over the past year.
  • The top two most valued API security capabilities are to stop attacks (44%) and identify PII exposure (44%). The ability to implement shift-left practices rated the lowest (22%).
  • Vulnerabilities discovered in the wild represent a critical concern for small and large businesses alike.
  • “Zombie” APIs followed by ATO top the list of API worries. In fact, 54% of respondents said outdated or “zombie” APIs are a high concern, up from 42% in the last quarter.

Data from the report shows that reliance on APIs is continuing to grow as they become ever more imperative to their organisation’s success. Simultaneously, APIs are becoming harder to protect as attacks increase exponentially and traditional tools and processes cannot stop them.  The findings from Salt Labs highlight why 2023 has been dubbed the “Year of API Security”.


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SnapDragon Monitoring eyes international growth after sharp increase in turnover

Brand protection specialists SnapDragon Monitoring has announced new plans today to grow its international reach by 25% in 2023 after it experienced one of its most successful years to date in 2022, with its annual turnover increasing by 29% and exports increasing to 49% .

SnapDragon is a Queen’s Award winning, brand protection business based in Edinburgh. Last year the company grew its headcount by 20%, with its latest recruits being seasoned legal professional, Ewan McIntyre, who has been appointed as the company’s first General Counsel, and veteran beauty guru, Wilma McDaniel, who has joined as head of beauty to help educate on and tackle counterfeits in the sector.

SnapDragon’s detection technology has played a key role in preventing the online sales of millions of fake and copycat products, protecting the end-consumer, who frequently buys a fake product unwittingly, as well as company reputations and revenues. The company also recently made significant developments to its brand protection platform, not only launching a new self-service offering of its proprietary software, Swoop, but also upgrading the platform to include Delphic Vision to help customers detect logo infringements, and the reputations of public facing individuals challenged by their likeness being used in deepfakes. Regardless of the source, customers can immediately identify listings with Delphic and work to have them removed before they do further damage, duping potential customers or causing personal mayhem.

Adopting advanced AI techniques, including both text and image analysis, has allowed SnapDragon to present ranked relevant results to its clients automatically, and in a fraction of the time, while its affordable logo and image detection capabilities add a depth rarely found in brand protection.

“We are delighted with our success over the last year, which has seen our businesses grow not just in figures, but also in Dragons. Everyday consumers and businesses get caught out by fakes and counterfeits, and we are on a mission to help our customers and prospects do more to identify these fraudulent goods and websites before they cause harm. In the next year, we plan to scale the business across further international regions, and also increase our footprint within the legal sector. The ultimate goal is to make the online world a safer place for both consumers and businesses,” said Rachel Jones, CEO of SnapDragon Monitoring.

Today counterfeiting is a huge business that targets all industries, and recent estimates revealed that over £13.6 billion worth of fake goods were imported into Britain in 2020, which resulted in lost sales to legitimate businesses worth £9 billion. Fraudsters will often bank on the success of coveted products, making their own cheaper alternatives in a bid to trick consumers into purchases. The consequences of this not only cause loss in sales, but genuine brands come directly in the firing line for not doing more to protect customers against this illegal and dangerous trade. SnapDragon acts as a first in the line of defence against this threat, helping brands including Orchard Toys, Hornit and Ellie Cashman, detect fakes of their products and have them removed from the web before they cause harm.

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UK sees 35% increase in mobile phishing exposures – Global State of Mobile Phishing Report

Mobile phishing is an issue plaguing the masses and a growing concern for enterprises, particularly as  2022 had the highest percentage of mobile phishing encounter rates ever, according to Lookout‘s Global State of Mobile Phishing report. On average, more than 30% of personal and enterprise users exposed to these attacks every quarter.

In the U.K., there was a 35% increase in the average number of mobile devices exposed to at least one malicious phishing attack per quarter between 2020 and 2022. In the last two years, 20-30% of mobile devices in the U.K. have been exposed to at least one malicious phishing attack every quarter.

Lookout also found that users on all devices – whether personal or work provided – are tapping more on mobile phishing links in comparison to just two years ago. The report estimates the potential annual financial impact of mobile phishing to an organisation of 5,000 employees is nearly $4 million. Enterprises operating in highly regulated industries – including insurance, banking, legal, healthcare and financial services – were found to be the most heavily targeted.

“Mobile as a threat surface will continue to grow, and hybrid work continues to grow in tandem, introducing huge numbers of unmanaged devices into the enterprise environment,” said Aaron Cockerill, chief strategy officer at Lookout. “It is more important now than ever for organizations to evolve their cybersecurity strategy to proactively combat mobile phishing. As one of the most effective attack vectors for threat actors, often serving as a starting-point for more advanced attacks, mobile phishing protection should be a top priority for organizations of any size.”

In 2022, more than 50% of personal devices were exposed to a mobile phishing attack every quarter, with the percentage of users falling for multiple mobile phishing links in a year is increasing rapidly year over year.

Users, endpoints and applications are now so closely connected that threat actors can initiate advanced attacks simply by stealing user credentials. Mobile phishing is one of the most effective tactics to steal login credentials, which means that mobile phishing itself poses significant security, compliance, and financial risk to organizations in every industry. It is likely that the rise of remote work has contributed to this, as organizations relax bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to accommodate employees accessing corporate networks outside the traditional security perimeter.

Lookout also claim mobile phishing attacks are also growing more sophisticated. The share of mobile users in enterprise environments clicking on more than six malicious links annually has jumped from 1.6% in 2020 to 11.8% in 2022, indicating that users are having a tougher time distinguishing phishing messages from legitimate communications.

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6 Tips For Retail Store Owners On How To Increase Profits

6 Tips For Retail Store Owners On How To Increase Profits

Are you a retail store owner who wants to increase profits? If so, then you’ll want to read this blog post. It’ll be sharing six tips that can help you boost your bottom line. So, check out these tips if you wish to improve your sales or cut costs.

Price your goods correctly.

One of the most significant factors affecting your bottom line is the prices you set for your goods. You want to make sure that you are pricing your items correctly so that you can maximize profits. If your fees are too low, customers may be less likely to purchase from you as they may not see the value in what they’re buying. Conversely, if the prices are too high, it may scare away potential customers. To price your goods correctly, you’ll need to understand your target market and what they want. You can also use appropriate pricing software for the retail sector to help you. This software will help you to determine optimal pricing for your products based on the current market conditions.

Offer discounts and coupons

One of the best tips retail store owners can use to increase their profits is to offer discounts and coupons. This customer incentive provides an excellent opportunity for customers to purchase more than they usually would, resulting in more significant profit margins. Discounts and coupons can boost word-of-mouth advertising, as people tend to talk about a good bargain. Deals and coupons should also be promoted across multiple channels for maximum effect — don’t just limit yourself to print ads or your store website. Crafting creative campaigns such as an online contest or giveaway can attract customers from more prominent sources, helping you cross-sell different products and even charge a small fee for entry — that’s extra profits in your pocket.

Train your employees on how to upsell and cross-sell products

As a retail store owner, you know how important it is to increase profits. Training your employees to upsell and cross-sell products is the best way to do this. Upselling is when an employee encourages customers to purchase more expensive items with higher margin rates or additional items while cross-selling is when they market related articles and accessories. This can significantly raise your store’s revenues and ensure customers have everything they need for the products they buy. To train your staff, clearly explain upselling and cross-selling strategies, show them product features, demonstrate potential add-ons, provide examples of successful sales pitches, track purchases resulting from staff recommendations, and give timely feedback. Offering this training will give your employees the skills to maximize revenue for your store business.

Display items in a way that is appealing and easy to find

Retail store owners can increase profits by taking a creative approach to displaying their merchandise. If customers can easily find and view items, they’re more likely to be enticed to make a purchase. Creating appealing displays is critical. Make sure the colors, layout, and organization are visually pleasing. Utilize overhead lighting and soft spotlights on certain items to draw attention. Keeping items neatly displayed in groups will make them more accessible for customers to locate while encouraging impulse purchases. Make the most of limited space by raising shelves and taking advantage of wall displays. A refreshing display after regular intervals helps increase customer satisfaction and brings people back for more shopping experiences.

Keep your store clean and organized at all times.

An organized space helps customers find items quickly and efficiently and can even help to improve their shopping experience. Not only does tidying up your store make a great impression on customers, but it also increases the likelihood that they will buy more by making them feel comfortable in their surroundings. Additionally, ensuring that merchandise is properly stocked and easy to access prevents shoppers from leaving empty-handed if they can’t find what they’re looking for. Taking the initiative to thoroughly clean and organize your store can be a great way to maximize profits.

Always stock up on the items your customers need

An abundant inventory of items your customers demand will ensure they return as repeat customers and help increase sales and profits. An organized inventory schedule can help determine what products are selling well within your store. It also helps predict anything running low and allows you to restock the shelves with the most popular items quickly. Understanding customer needs and having a firm grasp of stock levels will allow store owners to confidently anticipate their customer’s needs to maximize sales and reap the rewards of well-managed profits.

Following these simple tips can encourage your customers to buy more and keep them returning for more. Train your employees to upsell and cross-sell products, offer discounts and coupons, and ensure your store is always clean and organized. Are you doing all of these things in your store? If not, now is the time to start!

Synopsys Finds Significant Increase in Practices to Bolster Software Supply Chain Security

Analysing the software security practices of 130 organisations including Adobe, PayPal and Lenovo, Synopsys’s Building Security in Maturity Model (BSIMM) report has found a nearly 50% surge in activities to secure open source software components and integrate security into developer toolchains; indicating greater initiative to tackle software supply chain security over the last 12 months.

The findings highlight a significant increase in activities that indicate BSIMM member organizations are implementing a “shift everywhere” approach to perform automated and continuous security testing throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and manage risk across their complete application portfolio.

“The BSIMM13 findings suggest that with the attention placed on software supply chains, most enterprise organizations are taking a risk-based approach to application security. Such an approach recognizes that security isn’t limited to the codebase; it includes the process of software development where security reviews and testing ‘shift everywhere’ to continuously improve security outcomes.” said Jason Schmitt, general manager of the Synopsys Software Integrity Group. “The findings also demonstrate that BSIMM member organizations’ software security initiatives are maturing, and they’re now looking for ways to drive the scalability, efficiency and overall effectiveness of their programs.”

Conducted by the Synopsys Software Integrity Group, BSIMM13 highlights evolving trends among member organizations’ software security initiatives over the last 12 months, including:

  • Managing Software Supply Chain Risk and the Rise of SBOMs

Likely as a result of recent high-profile supply chain attacks, managing software supply chain risk—most commonly performed through identifying and securing open source software—appears to be a top priority for BSIMM member organizations. BSIMM13 reports a 51% increase in activities associated with controlling open source risk over the last 12 months, as well as a 30% increase in organizations building and maintaining a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) to fully catalog the components within their deployed software.

  • Integrating Security into Developer Toolchains

As part of their efforts to “shift everywhere” BSIMM organizations made significant progress in integrating security options into CI/CD pipelines and developer toolchains over the last 12 months. BSIMM13 data notes a 48% growth in activities that enable organizations to include security tests in QA automation.

  • Expanding Software Security Beyond Products and Applications

BSIMM13 data also shows tremendous growth in activities that indicate security teams are working with operations to secure software that is not an application—such as automation created for CI/CD— as observations of activities for leveraging operational data for continuous improvement grew by 95% over the last 12 months.

  • “Shift Everywhere” with Automated and Continuous Testing

BSIMM13 data reports that 82% of BSIMM member organizations now use automated code review tools—ranking among the top-10 most-observed activities in BSIMM13—which unlocks their ability to perform faster, incremental security tests and identify vulnerabilities as they are introduced throughout the SDLC.

To learn more, download the BSIMM13 Trends & Insights report, or the full-length BSIMM13 Foundations, which provides an in-depth analysis of the data and explores industry-specific trends.

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Gaming Cyberattacks Increase by 167% in Last Year

Research by cybersecurity firm Akamai shows that Cyberattacks in the gaming sector have increased by 167% in the last year.

The report, titled Gaming Respawned, found that the US is the main target for attackers, followed by Switzerland, India, Japan, and the UK, alongside other European and Asian countries.

The report also claimed that gaming is the industry hit most often by the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks globally. Akamai estimate that the sector accounts for 35% of DDoS traffic worldwide.

Jonathan Singer, Akamai’s senior strategist, in the media and entertainment industries, explained that “as gaming activity has increased and evolved, so has the value of disrupting it through cyber-attacks.”

“Cyber-criminals typically disrupt live services and co-opt credentials to steal gaming assets. Also, with the industry’s expansion into the cloud, new threat surfaces have opened up for attackers by bringing in new players who are prime targets for bad actors.”

Akamai have uncovered key trends since their last report.

One of these trends relates to the fact that the industry shows no signs of slowing down after the boost that COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing gave to gaming.

Another trend is that cybercriminals have continued targeting attacks on gamers and game platforms, with web app attacks more than doubled over the past year. These attacks compromise three key attack vectors: LFI, SQLi and XSS. Ransomware and DDoS continue to be large threats.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the game industry’s overall attack surface seems to be growing alongside the continued growth of cloud gaming.

Microtransactions within games represent a huge draw for criminals who can capitalise on the spending power of gamers, as well as the fungible nature of virtual assets.

“Cyber-criminals know there is value in gaming, and they will continue to invent ways of getting it or exploiting the flow of virtual funds.”

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How to use Block Storage to Increase Space on Your Nextcloud Instance

How to use Block Storage to Increase Space on Your Nextcloud Instance


In a previous article, I showed you how to build your very own Nextcloud server. In this article, we’re going to extend the storage for our Nextcloud instance by utilizing block storage. To follow along, you’ll either need your own Nextcloud server to extend, or perhaps you can add block storage to a different type of server you may control, which would mean you’d need to update the paths accordingly as we go along. Block storage is incredibly useful, so we’ll definitely want to take advantage of this.

Let’s begin!

Setting up the block storage volume

First, use SSH to log in to your Nextcloud instance:


If we execute df -h, we can see the current list of attached storage volumes:

df -h

One of the benefits of block storage, is that you can have a smaller instance (but still have a bigger disk). Right now, unless you’re working ahead, we won’t have a block storage volume attached yet, so create one within the Linode dashboard.

You can do this by clicking on “Volumes” within the dashboard, and then you can get started with the process. Fill out each of the fields while creating the block storage device. But pay special attention to the region – you want to set this to be the same region that your Linode instance is in.

After creating the volume, you should see some example commands that give you everything you need to set up the volume. The first command, the one we will use to format the volume, we can copy and paste that command directly into a command shell. For example, it might look similar to this:

sudo mkfs.ext4 "/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-0Linode_Volume_nextcloud-data"

Of course, that’s just an example command, it’s best to use the command provided from the Linode dashboard, so if you’d like to copy and paste – use the command that you’re provided within the dashboard.

At this point, the volume will be formatted, but we’ll need to mount it in order to start using it. The second command presented in the dashboard will end up creating a directory into which to mount the volume:

sudo mkdir "/mnt/nextcloud-data"

The third command will actually mount the new volume to your filesystem. Be sure to use the command from the dashboard, the one below is presented only as an example of what that generally looks like:

sudo mount "/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-0Linode_Volume_nextcloud-data"

Next, check the output of the df command and ensure the new volume is listed within the output:

df -h

Next, let’s make sure we update /etc/fstab for the new volume, to ensure that it’s automatically mounted every time the server starts up: