Cybercrime Continues To Grow At Rapid Pace

    April 14, 2009

Cybercrime continued to grow at a rapid pace throughout 2008,primarily targeting personal financial information of computer users, according to a new report from Symantec.

Symantec said it created more than 1.6 million new malicious code signatures in 2008, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the total malicious code signatures ever created by the security firm.

The report found that Web surfing was still the primary source of new infections in 2008, and attackers are increasingly using customized malicious code toolkits to develop and spread their threats.

The majority (90%) of threats are aimed at stealing confidential information such as online bank account details, which accounted for 76 percent of malicious activity.

Malicious Code Threats

Web applications were common sources of vulnerabilities. Of all the vulnerabilities identified in 2008, 63 percent affected Web applications, up from 59 percent in 2007.

The most web – based attacks came from the United States (38%), followed by China (13%) and the Ukraine (12%).

"As malicious code continues to grow at a record pace we’re also seeing that attackers have shifted away from mass distribution of a few threats to micro-distribution of millions of distinct threats," said Stephen Trilling, vice president, Symantec Security Technology and Response.

"Cybercriminals are profiting from creating and distributing customized threats that steal confidential information, particularly bank account credentials and credit card data. While the above ground economy suffers, the underground economy has remained consistently steady."