Han Solo and Luke Skywalker were two of the most skilled fighters in the galaxy. Alone, they were a handful. However, along with the Rebellion’s finest, they teamed up to pose the most significant threat to the Empire’s reign of tyranny. The incredibly complex blended attack follows a similar script.

Blended attacks package the elements of multiple threats into a single attack to compromise their target, which is usually a networked computer. A hacker might combine a virus, worm, and Trojan horse to increase the effectiveness of the onslaught and spread the infection faster. Whereas most exploits focus on one attack vector, these multi-pronged strikes can take advantage of any vulnerabilities. The ability to hit with ferocious speed and inflict widespread damage can make blended attacks a nightmare for security teams.

Blended Characteristics

A blended attack is made up of a few core ingredients. First and foremost, it must include multiple attack modes in a single payload. A conventional threat might target an organization by flooding their web server with requests and bringing the network to a crawl. A blended attack might launch a DDoS attack, use a Trojan to install a rootkit, and infect the server in one fell swoop – all while being undetected.

Blended attacks have also been known to use multiple modes of transportation. Whereas a virus typically spreads via email, a blended threat might propagate through email, peer-to-peer networks, and even search engines like Google by lurking in results. Likewise, this type of threat is capable of performing many different actions. From damaging and deleting critical files to stealing login credentials and crashing the company network, a blended attack can cripple several areas of your system in one calculated strike.

Inside a Blended Attack

To give you a better idea of what you’re up against, here’s a detailed example of how blended threats typically operate:

  1. A rogue user hacks your company’s collaboration platform by inserting a link that directs employees to a malicious website.
  2. The user sends that same link to select employees in a phishing email.
  3. Those unsuspecting employees follow the link, where they immediately trigger the malicious payload hidden on the infected website.
  4. The payload downloads and installs a Trojan, which acts as a backdoor by compromising and recruiting the infected systems to form a botnet.
  5. The botnet is commanded to launch a DDoS attack on another organization, placing a strain on network resources and possibly implicating your firm in criminal activities.

As you can see, a strategically orchestrated blended attack can strike from many angles. Furthermore, it can bypass existing security mechanisms and spark disaster if not detected in a timely fashion. The increasing sophistication of ransomware strains that seek out system vulnerabilities and target backups suggest that these attacks are becoming more common than some might realize.

The Need for Blended Protection

Security vendors are addressing the problem with layered solutions that combine technologies such as encryption, firewall, anti-malware, and intrusion prevention capabilities in one loaded package. These solutions go beyond detection by automating everything from monitoring and alerts to incident response and reporting. To adequately safeguard your network from sophisticated blended attacks, you need a security strategy that takes a blended approach to protection.

This means your security approach should include multiple elements for the most effective cyber defense. This is required to not only defend against blended attacks, but to detect them as well. Not only is it vital to have a good security process in place, but it is also ideal to have a backup plan in case your data becomes unusable or inaccessible.

That’s why StorageCraft provides the one-click recovery solution and provides cloud services for MSPs and SMBs all around. When it comes to your data protection and security, we take it seriously. Contact us for more information today.

View Comments

  • you missed so many important factors. just don't bother writing an article like this if you don't provide all the information, its far too dumbed down. you have probably lead astray some poor network/system admin who will choose to back up to disk and sacrifice his companies data retention for cost. you don't know the cost of the average company to lose recoverable data.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for your comments. Yep, there is so much to talk about with this topic. What information would you like to see in more detail? We're always looking to talk about the tech that interests our readers as well as what interests us.


  • This appears to no longer work on their 6.1 and 6.1.1 versions. I tried FAT32 and NTFS partitions as well.

    It appears they switched to some sort of linux boot to do this.

  • The price of a microlized hypervisor is in case of Hyper-V, that it is to large to get fully loaded into the RAM. This could have backdraws if you lost the contact to the boot volume. I found an impressive demonstration about this topic @Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8ZF0ez0iH0
    In case of this, it seems VMware has still the better product.

  • Well done to Guy & Casey it's an excellent eBook, well worth reading and well worth keeping a copy close to hand!

    • Hi John,

      I'm glad you asked! I believe your company is in New Zealand, is that correct? You'll probably want to contact our sales team in Australia at sales[at]storagecraft.com.au or call +61 2 8061 4444. If you are interested in signing up in the United States or Canada, you can either submit an inquiry here: http://www.storagecraft.com/shadow-protect-msp.php or contact our sales team directly at 801.545.4700 or via email at sales[at]storagecraft.com.

  • This is good news that Shadowprotect will be supporting Linux OS. What if we use the current iso to take backup of linux OS, can it work for backup and restore? Let me know.

    • Hello Vinod,

      Yes, we believe this is great news that StorageCraft will be releasing a CrossPlatform version of ShadowProtect which supports both the Windows and Linux platforms. We're very excited about this news.

      The current release of the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment - CrossPlatform is a positive step towards supporting the Linux OS. Currently this CrossPlatform Recovery Environment is intended only for backing up and recovering Windows OS systems (including Windows 8 and Server 2012). Another release will have the complete tools for backing up and recovering both Linux and Windows systems. I can tell you that this later release will be out before the end of the year. Until then, thank you for your kind comments and we we're looking forward to providing you with more information about this exciting update in the near future. Check back with us again soon.

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