Symantec releases its ISTR XV Report

Posted: May 3, 2010 in Tech

Symantec recently released the Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) XV. The study is derived from data collected by its security intelligence team for the period January 1 to December 31 2009.

Notable trends highlighted in this year’s report include:

– Cybercriminals have turned their attention toward enterprises, given the potential for monetary gain from compromised corporate intellectual property (IP). The report found that attackers are leveraging the abundance of personal information openly available on social networking sites to synthesize socially engineered attacks on key individuals within targeted companies.

– Web-based attacks continued to grow unabated. Today’s attackers leverage social engineering techniques to lure unsuspecting users to malicious Web sites. These Web sites then attack the victim’s Web browser and vulnerable plug-ins normally used to view video or document files. In 2009, India ranked second for origin for Web-based attacks in APJ, with 16 percent of the APJ total. This is a significant increase from the previous reporting period, when India accounted for less than one per cent of Web-based attacks in the region. Globally in 2009, India ranked seventh with three percent of the worldwide total.

– Credit card information remains the most frequently advertised data by cybercriminals. Stolen credit card information can be quickly and easily used to purchase goods online where relatively minimal card information is required to authorize transactions. In addition to physical goods purchased online for subsequent delivery, criminals can purchase digital goods such as domain registrations, music, software, and gift certificates for online stores, which they receive immediately.

– Malicious Activity takes root in emerging countries. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, internet usage in the country has risen by 20 per cent in the last year alone with people progressively spending more time online. Additionally, Indians are increasingly accessing and editing sensitive information from their workstations/PCs, from home and in transit through their laptops, net books or smart phones. India’s surge in malicious activity in 2009 has moved the country from 11th for overall malicious activity in 2008 to fifth in this period.

The report also indicated that countries with emerging broadband infrastructure may continue to account for larger percentages within specific categories.

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