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Symantec Analyst Relations

Symantec Intelligence Report: December 2012

Created: 16 Jan 2013 • Updated: 25 Jun 2013
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In December’s Symantec Intelligence Report we take a closer look at our worldwide stats on the threat landscape. For the month of December, the United States claimed the dubious honor of being the largest source of spam at 12.7%, phishing scams at 24.2%, and virus attachments at 40.9% globally. It’s not unusual for the US to top one or two of these three categories, though claiming the triple crown of risk-based distribution is a little less common.

In other country news, Norway has jumped up to become the most targeted country for phishing attacks, as we’ve determined that 1 in 81.4 emails in the country were phishing attempts in December. Norway also came in second biggest source country, distributing 20.2% of all worldwide phishing attacks. The reasons why one country would jump like this are often varied, but likely due to a concerted phishing campaign by attackers. We’re keeping an eye on this jump and if a trend appears from this, we’ll report back in the coming months.

In other news, the Sex/Dating category dominated global spam traffic, making up a whopping 82.6% of all spam traffic. This category often takes the top spot, beating out pharmaceutical spam, but the margin rarely is this large. The banking industry was once again the most targeted industry for phishing, collecting 65% of all attacks for the month. Finally, over 80% of all adware this month was flagged by generic detections. This may not sound all that exciting, and we do largely catch such unwanted programs as under generic detections, but rarely is the percentage this high. This generally indicates that adware creators aren’t attempting anything new or unique, perhaps having taken a break over the holiday season.

Report highlights

  • Spam – 70.6 percent (an increase of 1.8 percentage points since November)
  • Phishing – One in 377.4 emails identified as phishing (an increase of 0.225 percentage points since November)
  • Malware – One in 277.8 emails contained malware (a decrease of 0.03 percentage points since November)
  • Malicious websites – 762 websites blocked per day (a decrease of 58.7 percent since November)

Please download the report here