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Analysis: the changing face of internet security

Symantec's Zulfikar Ramzan looks at emerging trends

We've all been affected by malicious internet activity, and advances in the web's technology means cyber criminals, hackers and spammers are rapidly adopting new and varied attack vectors. We look at whether predictions made by Symantec last year regarding internet security have come true and what the rest of the year will hold.

Web threats grow in complexity and sophistication
Distribution and channel options are not the only things that have increased for cybercriminals, their skills and creativity have followed the same pattern. In addition to the threats being new, they are becoming increasingly sneaky and complex.

New scams, such as drive-by downloads, or exploits that come from seemingly legitimate sites, can be almost impossible for the average user to detect.

Before the user knows it, malicious content has been downloaded on to their computer, and they face an often expensive and time-consuming recovery process. As predicted, the level of sophistication in such threats continues to rise.

New malware variants explode on to the scene at an unprecedented rate
One of the most noticeable increases we have observed in the security landscape is the sheer number of attacks and various methods for their distribution.

Each month, Symantec security researchers block an average of more than 245 million attempted malicious code attacks across the globe. Most of the attempted threats have never been seen before.

A combination of new distribution strategies, new media and internet channels and increasingly advanced hacker techniques all add up to more malware. While attackers previously used to distribute a few threats to a large number of people, they are now micro distributing millions of distinct threats to smaller, unique groups of people.

All of these factors combined together equal an unlimited number of unique malware attacks occurring.

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NEXT PAGE: New and developing trends

  1. Symantec's Zulfikar Ramzan looks at emerging trends in security
  2. Web threats grow in complexity and sophistication
  3. New and developing trends

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