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Symantec Intelligence
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Ben Nahorney | 10 Sep 2014 | 0 comments

Welcome to the August edition of the Symantec Intelligence report. Symantec Intelligence aims to provide the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks.

As reported in the ISTR Volume 19, 2013 saw a 500 percent increase in ransomware in the latter part of the year. Overall ransomware levels remained high through March 2014, and then slowly started to decline, in part due to the disruption of the GameOver Zeus botnet back in late May.

In contrast, crypto-style ransomware has seen a 700 percent-plus increase. These file-encrypting versions of ransomware began the year comprising 1.2...

Ben Nahorney | 14 Aug 2014 | 0 comments

Welcome to the July edition of the Symantec Intelligence report. Symantec Intelligence aims to provide the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks.

The average number of spear-phishing attacks per day has dropped back to a similar level seen in May. The .doc file type continues to be the most common attachment type used in spear-phishing attacks, followed by .exe files. Organizations with 2500+ employees were the most likely to be targeted, where non-traditional services, such as Business, Amusement, and Repair-related services, lead the Top-Ten Industries targeted, followed by Manufacturing.

The largest data breach reported in July resulted in the exposure of 900,000 identities. Hackers continue to be responsible for 49 percent of data breaches over the last 12 months, most often...

Ben Nahorney | 11 Jul 2014 | 0 comments

Welcome to the June edition of the Symantec Intelligence report. Symantec Intelligence aims to provide the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks.

The largest data breach reported in June resulted in the exposure up 1.3 million identities. This seems like a small number when compared to the 145 million exposed in the largest breach of May. However, while reported in June, this breach also took place during the month of May. This brings the total number of identities exposed in May to over 147 million, which is the second-worst month for data breaches in the last 12 months.

There was an average of 88 spear-phishing attacks per day in June. This appears to be a return of spear-phishing levels seen in the months of March and April, after the average per day dropped in May.

A...

Ben Nahorney | 17 Jun 2014 | 0 comments

Welcome to the May edition of the Symantec Intelligence report. Symantec Intelligence aims to provide the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks. After publishing our annual Internet Security Threat Report, we’re back to take a look at the monthly trends in the threat landscape since the report was published.

Up until May, the year has been relatively quiet on the data breach front. This follows three consecutive months at the end of last year with data breaches that resulted in the exposure of over 100 million identities each month, leading us to call 2013 the year of the “mega-breach.” May sees the return of another large data breach, this time exposing over 145 million identities in one breach.

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Ben Nahorney | 20 Feb 2014 | 0 comments

Welcome to the January edition of the Symantec Intelligence report. Symantec Intelligence aims to provide the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks.

A number of large data breaches were reported during the month of January. The largest new data breach included the exposure of 105.8 million identities in South Korea. (It’s worth noting that many individuals in the country had more than one account exposed in this breach.) Another large data breach, previously reported as including 40 million identities, has since had its numbers adjusted upwards and is now estimated at 110 million identities exposed. These two breaches contribute significantly in bringing the total number of identities exposed to over 500 million for the last twelve months.

Targeted attacks are up to their highest...

Ben Nahorney | 16 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

Welcome to the December edition of the Symantec Intelligence report. Symantec Intelligence aims to provide the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks.

This month, we see the email virus rate increase for the second month in a row, reaching an annual high of one in 164 emails.

Targeted attacks continue to focus on the Service-related industries, both in the professional and non-traditional realms. Two out of every five targeted attacks appear to be focused on these Service categories.

We also saw an increase in the overall number of data breaches reported in December, many of which occurred in previous months. Many of these disclosures from earlier in the year could be due to various regulations and/or laws requiring the disclosure of a breach during the year it occurred....

Ben Nahorney | 17 Dec 2013 | 0 comments

Welcome to the November edition of the Symantec Intelligence report. Symantec Intelligence aims to provide the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks.

November saw another increase in the number of targeted attacks. While these numbers are up slightly compared to October, they’re almost double the number of targeted attacks during the same month in 2012, though still much lower than their peaks this summer.

This month we saw another large data breach reported, where 42 million identities were exposed as a result. However, the breach apparently took place in January, resulting in an increase in overall numbers for the beginning of this year.

It appears that the email virus rate increased in November, where one in 235 emails contained a malicious attachment. This is up from one...

Ben Nahorney | 14 Nov 2013

Welcome to the October edition of the Symantec Intelligence report. Symantec Intelligence aims to provide the latest analysis of cyber security threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks.

This month we saw one of the largest data breaches in a number of years, where 150 million identities were exposed due to this one breach. This has more than doubled the number of identities exposed so far this year, when compared to our previous numbers through September.

October also saw an increase in the number of targeted attacks. These numbers are up fivefold compared to September, and even surpassing previous Octobers in 2011 and 2012, though still much lower than their peaks this summer.

When comparing the size of the targeted organizations, we see that a majority of attack attempts are against large corporations with...

Ben Nahorney | 18 Sep 2013

In this month’s report we take a look at social media scams so far in 2013. What we have noticed is that fake offerings, such as bogus opportunities for discount purchases, has dominated the social landscape this year, making up 82 percent of all social media attacks.

In the realm of data breaches, August saw a decrease in the number of breaches, with seven reported during the month. However, there were a further nine breaches reported in August that had occurred earlier in the year, bringing the total to 125 breaches resulting in a total of 91 million identities being exposed in 2013 so far.

In other news, 213 new mobile malware variants were discovered this month, a modest increase since July, but nowhere near the numbers we saw in June. There were 469 new vulnerabilities discovered in August, a 13 percent increase compared to the total in August of 2012.

The global spam rate fell 2.4 percentage points from July to 65.2 percent. The top-level domain for...

Darragh Cotter | 25 Jul 2013

Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) is an annual report which provides an overview and in-depth analysis of the online security landscape over the previous year. The report is based on data from Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network, which Symantec analysts use to identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in cyberattacks, malicious code activity, phishing, and spam as well as the wider threat landscape trends in general.

The latest release, ISTR volume 18, may be considered the most comprehensive and detailed to date. Among other findings, the report incorporated up-to-date data and analysis on targeted attacks, data breaches, malware, spam, vulnerabilities, and mobile malware.

Everyone in Symantec is extremely proud of the ISTR; however, this is no time to rest on our laurels. We are constantly looking to improve the quality of our...