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LAS VEGAS, Symantec Vision 2013 – April 16, 2013 — /BackupReview.info/ — Symantec Corp.’s (Nasdaq: SYMC) Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 (ISTR) today revealed a 42 percent surge during 2012 in targeted attacks compared to the prior year. Designed to steal intellectual property, these targeted cyberespionage attacks are increasingly hitting the manufacturing sector as well as small businesses, which are the target of 31 percent of these attacks. Small businesses are attractive targets themselves and a way in to ultimately reach larger companies via “watering hole” techniques. In addition, consumers remain vulnerable to ransomware and mobile threats, particularly on the Android platform.
“This year’s ISTR shows that cybercriminals aren’t slowing down, and they continue to devise new ways to steal information from organizations of all sizes,” said Stephen Trilling, chief technology officer, Symantec. “The sophistication of attacks coupled with today’s IT complexities, such as virtualization, mobility and cloud, require organizations to remain proactive and use ‘defense in depth’ security measures to stay ahead of attacks.”
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Small Businesses Are the Path of Least Resistance
Web-based attacks increased by 30 percent in 2012, many of which originated from the compromised websites of small businesses. These websites were then used in massive cyber-attacks as well as “watering hole” attacks. In a watering hole attack, the attacker compromises a website, such as a blog or small business website, which is known to be frequently visited by the victim of interest. When the victim later visits the compromised website, a targeted attack payload is silently installed on their computer. The Elderwood Gang pioneered this class of attack; and, in 2012, successfully infected 500 organizations in a single day. In these scenarios, the attacker leverages the weak security of one business to circumvent the potentially stronger security of another business.
Manufacturing Sector and Knowledge Workers Become Primary Targets
Mobile Malware and Malicious Websites Put Consumers and Businesses at Risk
In addition, 61 percent of malicious websites are actually legitimate websites that have been compromised and infected with malicious code. Business, technology and shopping websites were among the top five types of websites hosting infections. Symantec attributes this to unpatched vulnerabilities on legitimate websites. In years passed, these websites were often targeted to sell fake antivirus to unsuspecting consumers. However, ransomware, a particularly vicious attack method, is now emerging as the malware of choice because of its high profitability for attackers. In this scenario, attackers use poisoned websites to infect unsuspecting users and lock their machines, demanding a ransom in order to regain access. Another growing source of infections on websites is malvertisements—this is when criminals buy advertising space on legitimate websites and use it to hide their attack code.
About the Internet Security Threat Report
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TECHNORATI TAGS: Symantec, cybercrime, data breaches, malicious code, targeted attacks, hackers, Internet security, mobile threats, malware, watering hole attacks
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