SA first in Africa… for malware

There was a 42% surge during 2012 in targeted cybercrime attacks compared to the previous year, according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 (ISTR).

Designed to steal intellectual property, these targeted cyber-espionage attacks are increasingly hitting the manufacturing sector as well as small businesses, which are the target of 31% of these attacks, Symantec said.

Small businesses are attractive targets themselves and a way in to ultimately reach larger companies via “watering hole” techniques. In addition, consumers remain vulnerable to ransom-ware and mobile threats, particularly on the Android platform.

“This year’s ISTR shows that cybercriminals aren’t slowing down, and they continue to devise new ways to steal information from organisations of all sizes,” said Gordon Love, Symantec’s regional director for Africa.

“The sophistication of attacks coupled with today’s IT complexities, such as virtualisation, mobility and cloud, require organisations to remain proactive and use ‘defense-in-depth’ security measures to stay ahead of attacks,” Love said.

ISTR has ranked South Africa globally in the following categories:

Global rankings 2012 2011
Spam 47 37
Malicious code 30 21
Phishing attacks 34 37
Overall Internet Security Threat Profile 45 43

From an African perspective (excluding Egypt), Symantec ranked South Africa as follows:

  • 3rd for Spam
  • 1st for Malicious code
  • 1st for Phishing attacks

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SA first in Africa… for malware