Cyber Threats Increase By More than 25 Percent

  • 317 percent increase in Android malware
  • Automatic Transfer Systems on target list
  • Pinterest used as gateway to get information

Cybercriminals have increased their focus in targeting individuals and organisations of all sizes to steal personal and financial information, according to the security roundup report for the second quarter of 2012 released today by Trend Micro.

Among the examples of these increasingly focused attacks were the 142 million threats which were blocked from infecting small businesses as of the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 27 percent quarter on quarter.

Trend Micro’s report also outlines increasingly sophisticated attacks against individuals in the form of ATS (automatic transfer system) attacks. Large organisations weren’t exempt either: the IXSHE campaign showed cybercriminals stepping up their tactics to gain access to large multinational corporations without notice.

In addition to these more targeted attacks, Trend Micro’s report shows cybercriminals continuing to cast their net widely in large-scale attacks using newer, more lethal methods. Police Trojan Attacks and the Black Hole Exploit Kit continue to target desktop systems while newer platforms such as Android are seeing an unprecedented explosion in malicious apps. Social media wasn’t exempt as cybercriminals jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon bringing tried-and-true scams to the latest social networking craze.

Across the board though, the goal is the same: to get personal data and financial information. Increased attacks include:

  • 25,000 Android malware apps have been identified as of the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 317 percent over the number of samples found in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Ransomware attacks that track a victim’s geographic location, holds the system captive and scares the victim into revealing personal information by using the victim’s local police force as a threat
  • More sophisticated attack tools, like the automatic transfer systems, allow criminals to steal banking information when they are not online
  • Organisation of tried-and-true attack methods, such as the Blackhole Exploit Kit, offers technical support for criminals looking to collect personal financial information
  • The IXESHE malware targeted enterprises primarily in East Asia, with the number of C&C servers in Taiwan equaling those located in the U.S.
  • Pinterest has become the social media platform of choice among criminals; the top 5 social engineering lures being used across all social networking sites are: Diablo 3, Instagram Android, Angry Birds Space, London 2012 Olympics and Tibet

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