According to Trend Micro Incorporated’s 2013 annual threat round up report, “Cashing in on Digital Information," security breaches, cyber criminals and organised attacks made it nearly impossible to keep personal and financial data private.
The report found that online banking malware more than doubled in Australia from Q1 to Q4 2013, while New Zealand volume increased by 276% over the same period, compared to a global rate from Q1 to Q4 2013 of 374%.
Australia also saw the number of botnet C&C (Command and Control) servers increase by around 65% from Q1 to Q4 2013. The large scale attacks on privacy and security are detailed in the report that covers online bank hacking, mobile vulnerabilities, infrastructure attacks, and other threats.
This annual report provides insight into the vulnerabilities of today’s technology that is rapidly becoming interconnected and “smart."
Unfortunately, the new technology being embraced may give more opportunities for criminals to thrive, as they evolve their cyber attacks, endanger business, including online banks and retailers, while moving closer to homes and individuals through mobile technology.
“Last year encompassed major security breaches, increased malware and mobile threats that impacted people of all walks of life around the world," says Sanjay Mehta, managing director, Trend Micro ANZ.
“Now more than ever, consumers and corporations alike must be diligent in understanding their vulnerabilities, and what should be done from a security perspective to better protect personal data and guard against compromised privacy.
"While this report details the threat landscape of 2013, more importantly it explains how these threats will continue to evolve and what should be done to mitigate the negative impact."
Report highlights include:
As online banking malware that directly targets victims’ finances intensified globally last year, prolific Ransomware such as Cryptolocker also increased and evolved throughout the year.
There was a sizeable increase in both volume and sophistication of mobile threats, as PC-based threats transitioned to mobile platforms. More than 1.4 million malicious and high-risk apps were identified and Apple was not excluded, as researchers proved the App store is vulnerable to malware delivery.
High-profile incidents of infrastructure being targeted by cyber attacks became a reality in South Korea, demonstrating how critical operations can be impacted on a broad scale.
Emerging in 2013 saw the increased awareness regarding unsupported versions of Java and Windows XP, which will present a widespread security challenges as patches and upgrades cease when support for XP ends April 2014.
Through social networking and “personal cloud" accounts, personal privacy became a recurring issue when aggressive phishing attacks emerged that compromised personal information under the guise of popular new product launches, such as PS4 and Xbox One.