Australians clicked on more than 39 million malicious links in the second quarter of 2014, up from nearly 27 million malicious links in Q1, according to Trend Micro’s Q2 security roundup report. This ranks Australia fourth in the world for countries with the highest number of visits to malicious sites after the US, Japan and France.
The report, titled “Turning the tables on cybercrime: responding to evolving cyber crime tactics,” showed malware continued its prevalence in Q2 2014, with the number of malware detections in Australia hitting more than 11.2 million over the quarter, up from 10.5 million for the previous quarter.
Trend Micro threat researchers also found more than one million malicious URLs were hosted in Australia throughout Q2. The average number of spam-sending Internet Protocols (IPs) per month reduced to 3.8 million this quarter in Australia. At its highest, there were five million spam-sending IPs in Australia in a month.
Cyber threats, data breaches and high-risk vulnerabilities continued to dominate the first half of 2014. The severity of these attacks intensified against banks and financial and banking institutions as well as retail outlets. Total attacks have exposed more than 10 million personal records around the world as of July 2014 and strongly indicate the need for organisations to adopt a more strategic approach to safeguarding digital information.
The incident attacks in the second quarter affecting consumers’ personal information included theft of data such as customer names, passwords, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth. These types of personal privacy breaches have affected retail sales and business earnings while leaving customers unable to access personal accounts and dealing with service disruption.
As of July 15, 2014, more than 400 data breach incidents have been reported globally, creating the need for organisations to identify and understand their core data in order to protect and build an effective defence strategy to keep them and their customers secure. As a first step, organisations need to determine which information they regard as “core data” before devising a plan on how to protect it.
“The increase in malicious links being clicked on by Australians in Q2 shows a clear need for continued consumer education on personal security to ensure people remain protected against these ever-evolving threats,”said Greg Boyle, director, strategic business and alliances at Trend Micro Australia and New Zealand. “Considering Australia is fourth globally after the US, Japan and France – all of which have much higher populations than us – it’s an obvious sign people still aren’t aware or simply aren’t heeding the warnings about the consequences.
“Consumers need to be aware of not just what they’re clicking on, but also what’s happening with their own personal data. For example, what retailers and businesses are doing with it. This often means asking more questions and reading the fine print, which requires a change in mindset for many people.”
Notable findings of the report include:
- Critical vulnerabilities created havoc among information security professionals and the public: High-risk vulnerabilities affected various components of Internet browsing and Web services, including server-side libraries, operating systems, mobile apps and browsers.
- Escalation in the severityand volume of attacks: The severity of attacks against organisations highlighted the importance of incident response planning and organisation-wide security awareness.
- Cybercriminals counter online banking and mobile platform developments: Deployment of mobile ransomware and two-factor authentication-breaking malware has emerged in response to technological developments in the online banking and mobile platforms.
- Digital Life and Internet of Everything (IOE) improved way of life with emerging vulnerabilities: The 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil was one of the most popular sporting events in recent history, based on online engagement and activity. As such, users faced various threats related to the event, making it one of the most widely used social engineering hooks this quarter.
“The findings from the latest results point to several online vulnerabilities within our daily lives, especially with cyber criminals leveraging popular global events to lure and exploit people,” said Boyle. “This provides further evidence that people need to be more aware of how to avoid such online dangers and protect themselves from cyber threats like malicious links, phishing schemes and malware.”
For the complete report, please visit:http://www.trendmicro.com.au/cloud-content/au/pdfs/security-intelligence/reports/rpt-turning-the-tables-on-cyber-attacks.pdf
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Built on 25 years of experience, our solutions for consumers, businesses and governments provide layered data security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. All of our solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure, and are supported by more than 1,200 threat experts around the globe. For more information, visit TrendMicro.com.au.