Symantec identifies massive growth in web threats


Symantec identifies massive growth in web threats

Simon Quicke

Increases in targeted attacks, social network based scams and more risks around mobile platforms feature heavily on the latest review of the security landscape.

According to the latest state of the market, Internet Security Threat Report, from Symantec there were 286 million fresh threats last year and several trends are emerging that resellers and customers need to be aware of.

The first trend is the development of the targeted attack, which is designed to infiltrate a specific company or department, and has become a favored method for hackers aiming their sights on enterprises and SMEs.

Symantec also underlined the warnings that were being issued last year around vulnerabilities surrounding links in social networking sites with a recommendation for firms, in conjunction with resellers, to cover these platforms under their security policies.

The most popular way for hackers to use social networks is to use the shortened links to lead the user to a malicious site.

The vendor found that in 2010 65% of malicious links in news feeds used shortened URLs.

The other trend that should cause concern to enterprise customers is the continuing extension of attacks onto mobile platforms with company data held on smart phones now a major attraction for criminals.

Synantec picked up on 163 vulnerabilities last year that were designed to hand attackers complete or partial control over a mobile device.

Sian John, security strategist at Symantec, said that resellers had to continue the user education and help them formulate policies on social networking and to securely deal with the increased demand from their staff for remote working.

She said that a lot of firms had traditionally locked down social networking because of productivity issues but needed to formulate an approach that allowed staff to use the communication platforms without compromising security.

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