Web Attacks Way Up, Says Symantec Report

Dennis Faas's picture

According to a new report from security firm Symantec, the volume and complexity of web-based hacker attacks continues to grow.

Symantec says the total daily number of online attacks actually jumped an incredible 93 per cent from 2009 to 2010. Also rising to concerning levels was the number of attacks launched upon mobile platforms.

Symantec's findings come to us courtesy of the company's "Internet Security Threat Report," which was released on Tuesday. The findings were certainly eye-catching, including one report which suggests that hacking results in an average of 262,767 exploited identities for each and every information breach.

Adobe Vulnerable in Multiple Ways

The report also notes that the Phoenix toolkit continues to be the favorite technique of hackers, accounting for 39 per cent of all online attacks.

Also popular were toolkits NeoSploit and Nukesploit. Startling is Symantec's finding that Adobe Reader hacks accounted for 8 per cent of all toolkit-based attacks.

Web Browsers Addons Targeted

Another new target for hackers is the web browser plug-in, a change in direction from previous years, where applications and browsers themselves were typically on the butt-end of attacks.

"As the operating system and browser guys have gotten better about patching their software, the weakness now is often in the plug-ins that sit inside the browser," noted Symantec Security REsponse director, Gerry Egan. (Source: informationweek.com)

Vulnerable plug-ins last year include Adobe Flash as well as Adobe Reader.

Mobile Platforms a New Target

Several other hacker tactics leaped in popularity last year, including those using executable files and Windows auto-run. These kinds of attacks increased 74 per cent, followed by file-sharing protocol exploits (47 per cent) and remote code attacks (24 per cent).

Finally, as smartphone use increases, so too are the number of attacks on mobile platforms.

According to Symantec, a total of 163 mobile vulnerabilities were reported last year, an increase of 42 per cent over 2009. Most attacks of this nature targeted Android-based phones. (Source: eweek.com)

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