CUPERTINO, Calif. - Oct. 1, 2003 - Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in Internet security, today released its latest Internet Security Threat Report, one of the most comprehensive analyses of trends in cyber security activity. This report includes analysis of data from Symantec Managed Security Services customers as well as more than 20,000 DeepSight Threat Management System registered sensors worldwide monitoring attack activity in more than 180 countries. The report covers network-based attacks, a review of vulnerabilities discovered and exploited, and highlights of malicious code trends.
Symantec reports that the increasing prevalence of blended threats, which use a combination of malicious code and vulnerabilities to launch a cyber attack, remains one of the most significant security issues companies face this year. Blended threats accounted for 60 percent of malicious code submissions in the first half of 2003, and the number of blended threats increased by 20 percent. Blended threats continue to be the most frequently reported threat.
The speed of propagation of blended threats is also increasing. For example, the Slammer worm impacted systems worldwide in less than a few hours. Moreover, for a time, the recent Blaster worm was infecting as many as 2,500 computers per hour. Symantec expects to see greater worm propagation resulting in overloads to network hardware, crippling network traffic, and seriously preventing both individuals and businesses from using the Internet.
With the release of the current report, Symantec provides analysis of attacker vulnerability preferences for the first time. This new analysis shows that 64 percent of all new attacks targeted vulnerabilities less than one year old. Additionally, 66 percent of all attacks documented in the first half of 2003 utilized vulnerabilities categorized as highly severe.
Recent activities support Symantec's analysis that the time from discovery to outbreak continues to shorten significantly. The W32.Blaster blended threat occurred only 26 days after the vulnerability was announced. "The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report combines data from the most comprehensive sources of Internet threat information in the world with exceptional analysis from skilled security experts," said Rob Clyde, Symantec's Chief Technology Officer. "As a result, it provides enterprises a reliable, accurate source of up-to-date Internet security trend data required to strengthen their overall corporate security postures."
Additional key findings of the report follow.
Malicious Code Trends
Recommended Best Practices
Symantec encourages users and administrators to adhere to the following best security practices to better protect their information assets:
About Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report
Attack trends in the report are based on analyses from Symantec DeepSight Threat Management System and Symantec Managed Security Services. Symantec DeepSight Threat Management System analyzes continuously collected attack data from more than 20,000 registered sensors in more than 180 countries around the world. Vulnerability trends are based on statistical analysis of data housed in the Symantec Security Response vulnerability database, which contains information on more than 8,000 distinct vulnerabilities. Malicious code trends are based on empirical data and expert analysis drawn from Symantec's comprehensive infection and malicious code databases. To download Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, please visit www.symantec.com.
Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at www.symantec.com.
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