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Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR)

Symantec has released their 2016 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), volume 21. It is an analysis of data-based of cyber security issues for the last year. Symantec has been producing such reports for more than 10 yrs.

The key findings are listed below

A New Zero-Day Vulnerability Discovered Every Week: Attackers gain profit from flaws in browsers and website plugins.

In 2015, the no. of zero-day vulnerabilities discovered around doubled to 54, a 125% increase before the year. Or another way, new zero-day vulnerability was found on average every week in 2015. Given the value of these vulnerabilities, it may not surprising that a market has evolved to meet demand.

Half a Billion Personal Records Stolen or Lost: Companies not reporting the full extent breaches

In 2015, we saw nine mega-breaches, and the reported no. of exposed identities 429 million. But this number hides a big story. In 2015, more companies not reveal the full extent of their data breaches. An estimate of unreported breaches pushes the no. of records lost to around a billion.

Vulnerabilities Found in Three Quarters of Websites: Web administrators struggle to stay current on patches

There were over one million web attacks against people every day in 2015. Cybercriminals take advantage of vulnerabilities in legitimate looking websites to infect users, because website administrators fail to secure their data in websites. Around 75% of all legitimate looking web sites have vulnerabilities unwatched, that put us all on risk.

Spear-Phishing Campaigns Target Employees Increased 55 Percent: Cyber attackers are playing the game

In 2015, large businesses targeted for attack once was most likely to be targeted again at least three more times throughout the year. All types of businesses are potentially seems too vulnerable to targeted attacks. In fact, spear-phishing campaigns targeting employees increased 55% in 2015. There is no business is without risk.

Ransomware Increased 35 Percent in 2015: Cyber criminals are using encryption technique as a weapon

An extreme table type of ransom attack, ransomware will continue to spreads among users and expand to any connected device in the network that may be held hostage. In 2015, ransomware has maintained their new targets on smart devices including smart android phones, Mac based computers, and Linux based operating systems. Symantec even found attacks on smart watches and smart televisions in 2015.

100 Million Fake Technical Support Scams Blocked: Cyber scammers now make you to call them

Fake technical reports to support frauds have evolved from calling the unsuspecting victims to the attacker that adopts strategy by making victims fool into calling them directly. Attackers, who are used to trick people with indicating error pop-up alerts, thus steer the victim to a number of 800. In 2015, Symantec has blocked 100 million of these types of attacks.

Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), volume 22

In year of 2016 Cyber criminals introduced some new enhanced levels of ambition– a year marked by extra-ordinary attacks, including multi-million-dollar virtual bank heists and overt attempts to disrupt the U.S. electoral process by state-sponsored groups, according to Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), Volume 22.

Symantec Internet Security Threat Report has given a report on comprehensive knowledge and view of the threats, including insights into global threat activity, cyber-criminal trends, and motivations for attackers. Key points from the report include:

  • Subversion and Sabotage Attacks
  • Emerge at the Forefront

Cyber criminals are dealing with politically pressurized attacks in a move to determine a new trend of targets. Cyber-attacks against Democratic Political Party of the united states and the leakage of information that was steal reflect a fashion towards criminals that are used to employ highly-publicized, overt campaigns designed to destabilize and disrupt targeted organizations and countries. While cyber-attacks involving sabotage have traditionally been quite rare, the perceived success of several campaigns – including the U.S. election and Shamoon – point to a growing fashion to criminals attempting to influence politics and sow discord in other countries.

Nation States Chase the Big Scores

A new breed of attackers revealed major financial ambitions, which may be an act to help fund other covert and subversive activities. Today, the virtually largest heists are carried out, with billions of dollars that is stolen by cyber criminals. While criminal gangs are organized to work for these, for the first-time nation states appear involved as well. Symantec revealed evidence linking North Korea to attacks on banks located in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Poland, and Ecuador.

Attackers Used Commonly Software As Weapon: Email Becomes the Weapon for attackers

In 2016, Symantec observed cyber criminals that use PowerShell, a common scripting language used to install in PCs, and Microsoft Office files act as weapons in this scenario. While system administrators can use these common IT related tools for daily management and their tasks, cyber criminals choose this combination for their attacks on targets as it will leave a lighter foot marks and deals with an ability to hide and seek in plain sight. Due to the trend use of PowerShell by criminals, 95% of PowerShell malicious files are observed by Symantec in the world.

The usage of sending email as an infection point also rise, becoming as weapon for cyber criminals and a dangerous risk of loss information to users. Symantec found results that show one malicious email in total of 131 emails– that represent itself as highest rate in the era of five years. Moreover, Business Email Compromise (BEC) targets get over around 400 businesses on each and every day and the main purpose of this is to scam.

Caving in to Digital Extortion: Americans Most Likely prefer to Pay Ransom Demands

Escalation of ransomware continued to as a problem globally and a scam business for cyber-criminals. Symantec found results over 100 new malware related families released into the world, more than *3 the amount that was seen in the previous years, and a 36 % increment in ransomware attacks on the worldwide scale.

However, the US is firmly in the attacker’s crosshairs as the #1 country that was targeted. Symantec found results around 64 % of American ransomware victims were willing to pay off a ransom, compared to 34 % global worldwide. In 2016, the average scale of ransomware spiked 266 percent with demanding criminals an average amount of $1,077 per victim increased up from $294 as reporting for the years back.

Cracks in the Cloud: The Next Frontier for Cyber Crime is Upon Us

A growing fashion on cloud based services has made impact on organizations to attack openly. Tens of thousands of clouds based databases from a single providing source were steal and hijacked and left for ransom in 2016 after users left outdated old demanding databases open on the external network internet without authentication turned on it.

Cloud security features try to continue making remedies to challenge CIOs. According to Symantec source data, CIOs have lost track and rights of many cloud applications that were used inside their organizations. When question asked, most organizations assume that they use more than 40 cloud applications when the number nears to the thousand 1,000. This issue may lead due to lack of knowledge about policies and procedures for how can employees may access cloud based services, which can turn by making cloud applications lead associated risks. These cracks observed in the cloud that were taking shape. Symantec gives predication that unless CIOs get a firmer grip on the cloud applications used inside the organizations, they can see how threats and associated risk enters in their organizational environment.

From the Experts: Security Tips and Tricks

There are many steps which businesses and consumers take to protect themselves. On the starting point, Symantec recommends the following best practices:

For Businesses:

  1. Don’t get caught flat-footed.
  2. Prepare for the worst.
  3. Implement a multi-layered defense.
  4. Provide ongoing training about malicious email.
  5. Monitor your resources.

For Consumers:

  1. Change the default passwords on your devices and services.
  2. Keep your operating system and software up to date.
  3. Be extra careful on email: Email is one of the top infection methods.
  4. Back up your files.

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