Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Ransomware , Video

Why Managed File Transfer Products Are a Hacker's Paradise

John Dwyer of IBM Security X-Force on Using Predictive Threat Intelligence
John Dwyer, head of research, IBM Security X-Force

This year's massive exploitation of managed file transfer products such as Fortra's GoAnywhere and Progress Software's MOVEit proves that MFTs are a hacker's paradise. Exploiting one is a great way to steal data and carry out an extortion-based attack.

See Also: Ransomware Response Essential: Fixing Initial Access Vector

Research by John Dwyer of IBM Security X-Force shows that MFTs have characteristics that make them attractive to cybercriminals: They handle critical data, often connect to a third party, contain personal identifying information, and often allow lateral movement. But there is a path toward protecting MFTs in the future, Dwyer's research also shows.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at Black Hat USA 2023, Dwyer discussed:

  • The need for scaled contextual awareness of datasets to make defenders aware of their MFTs' underlying software components;
  • How IBM is developing a predictive threat intelligence platform;
  • How the threat landscape is evolving globally.

Dwyer leads a team of security researchers focused on adversary trend analysis, threat hunting, detection engineering, incident response technology and integrating partner technologies into X-Force's ecosystem. He tracks and models adversary operations to develop immersive simulation exercises to help drive improvements in incident response, threat hunting, and detection engineering. Prior to joining X-Force, Dwyer was a defensive cyber operations researcher working with the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force to develop and incident response capabilities.


About the Author

Tom Field

Tom Field

Senior Vice President, Editorial, ISMG

Field is responsible for all of ISMG's 28 global media properties and its team of journalists. He also helped to develop and lead ISMG's award-winning summit series that has brought together security practitioners and industry influencers from around the world, as well as ISMG's series of exclusive executive roundtables.




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