Symantec: 5.5 Billion Attacks Blocked in 2011

The report shows that religious sites were infected with more malware than adult sites

By on May 1st, 2012 14:47 GMT

Symantec released its Internet Security Threat Report in which it details the elements that left a mark on the cyber security landscape of 2011.

If we look at each month individually, we see that May was the busiest month of 2011. That is when scripting attacks that generated Facebook invites were first launched, malware and phishing increased due to the death of Osama bin Laden, the LulzSec group was formed, and the free version of the Blackhole exploit kit was made available.

The figures in the paper show that compared to 2010, when Symantec’s systems blocked around 3 billion attacks, in 2011, the number increased to 5.5 billion.

Data breaches also left their stain on the threat landscape, 1.1 million identities being exposed for each incident that occurred. Overall, 232.4 million individuals became potential victims of identity theft.

On the bright side, spam messages recorded a considerable drop, from 62 billion in 2010, to 42 billion in 2011.

When it comes to targeted attacks, in 50% of cases large companies were the main target, the other half involving small and medium-sized firms.

4,989 new vulnerabilities were discovered in 2011, but even though this number may seem high, the statistics regarding botnets are somewhat comforting. If in 2010 there were 4.5 million bot zombies, in the year that passed there were just over 3 million.

As expected, in the mobile sector things are not looking good. 315 new vulnerabilities were identified, which is almost double if compared to the previous year.

The fact that 400 million new unique pieces of malware were developed shouldn’t surprise anyone, but when we look at website malware, there’s something that’s out of the ordinary. It has been determined that religious and ideological sites hosted three times the number of malicious elements per infected domain than adult websites.

The complete report can be found here.

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