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symantec-1Symantec Corp.’s (Nasdaq: SYMC)  Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 (ISTR) today revealed a 42 percent surge during 2012 in targeted attacks compared to the prior year.

Designed to steal intellectual property, these targeted cyberespionage attacks are increasingly hitting the manufacturing sector as well as small businesses, which are the target of 31 percent of these attacks. In addition, consumers remain vulnerable to ransomware and mobile threats, particularly on the Android platform. The ISTR 18 Key Highlights Include:

Small Businesses Are the Path of Least Resistance

Targeted attacks on businesses with fewer than 250 employees are growing. Small businesses are now the target of 31 percent of all attacks, a threefold increase from 2011. While small businesses may feel they are immune to targeted attacks, cybercriminals are enticed by these organizations’ bank account information, customer data, intellectual property and the knowledge that they often lack adequate security practices and infrastructure.

Manufacturing Sector and Knowledge Workers Become Primary Targets

Shifting from governments, manufacturing has moved to the top of the list of industries targeted for attacks in 2012.  Often by going after manufacturing companies in the supply chain, attackers gain access to sensitive information of a larger company. In addition, in 2012 the most commonly targeted victims of these types of attacks were knowledge workers (27 percent) with access to intellectual property and those in sales (24 percent).

Mobile Malware Put Consumers and Businesses at Risk  

In 2012, mobile malware increased by 58 percent, and 32 percent of all mobile threats attempted to steal information, such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Android’s market share, its open platform and the multiple distribution methods available to distribute malicious apps, make it the go-to platform for attackers.

INTERNET SECURITY THREAT PROFILE IN 2012
TOP 30 COUNTRIES IN AFRICA
Africa Rank
(2012)
Country World Rank
(2011)
World Rank
(2012)
Malicious Code Spam Phishing
World Rank
(2012)
World Rank
(2012)
World Rank
(2012)
1 Egypt 27 29 9 64 71
2 South Africa 43 46 30 47 34
3 Morocco 42 49 42 32 39
4 Tunisia 60 60 46 35 95
5 Algeria 13 61 35 65 59
6 Mauritius 81 67 53 51 104
7 Nigeria 59 69 41 69 91
8 Kenya 85 86 70 86 80
9 Sudan 86 89 87 58 0
10 Ghana 99 92 56 0 91
11 Cameroon 91 99 66 89 127
12 Ethiopia 102 101 60 100 0
13 Libya 101 102 80 78 100
14 Cote D’Ivoire 103 103 83 80 109
15 Angola 90 107 85 82 0
16 Senegal 117 108 111 72 127
17 Namibia 123 119 117 92 109
18 Tanzania 113 122 91 0 109
19 Seychelles 135 123 149 0 66
20 Zimbabwe 134 124 103 116 95
21 Zambia 126 126 101 118 127
22 Uganda 125 127 100 132 127
23 Botswana 130 128 96 146 127
24 Malawi 151 133 102 0 127
25 Mozambique 112 136 124 117 127
26 Congo, Democractic Republic of the 115 137 113 122 127
27 Madagascar 132 146 138 108 0
28 Rwanda 131 149 125 121 127
29 Djibouti 158 158 135 150 127
30 Burkina Faso 159 160 131 0 0