Study Reveals Increase in Cyber Espionage – Including Threefold Increase in SMB Attacks

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Next Study Reveals Increase in Cyber Espionage – Including Threefold Increase in SMB Attacks-3 Next

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.

Symantec Corp.’s (Nasdaq: SYMC) Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 (ISTR) recently revealed a 42 percent surge during 2012 in targeted attacks compared to the prior year. Designed to steal intellectual property, these targeted cyber espionage 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 cyber criminals 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.”

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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