Here’s another unconventional entry point that bad guys are exploiting: lesser-used (or, as SonicWall calls them, non-standard) ports. Though there are more than 40,000 registered network ports, firewalls generally train most of their attention on a handful of the most heavily utilized ones, like port 80, which supports HTTP traffic, and port 25, which handles SMTP. Not surprisingly, therefore, hackers are increasingly making their way through network perimeters via obscure, often overlooked ports.
“They’re ripe for the picking,” Conner observes.
Indeed, in the first quarter of this year, 22% of malware attacks targeted non-standard ports, according to SonicWall, and that figure rose to 25% in Q2.
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