2012 In ReviewWritten by Sue Walsh on January 15, 2013
The stats for 2012 are in. Overall spam levels dropped by 53% compared to 2011. Despite
the drop, malicious spam campaigns and spear phishing attacks rose and are expected to continue to rise in 2013. Here are the trends from last year and what’s expected this year.
Malicious spam campaigns carrying payloads of known viruses rose a whopping 226% while campaigns distributing new ones rose 153%. Only 75.8 % of all email sent in 2012 was spam, down from 87.4% in 2011. Spear phishing and drive by attacks were the most commonly used tactics by spammers and cybercriminals.
In 2012 experts say targeted attacks will become increasingly sophisticated and narrowed down, with country specific attacks becoming the norm. Spear phishing will become an even more powerful weapon with attacks targeted toward governments, high level business executives and other powerful groups. They also say spam campaigns will strengthen their fluctuations regarding topic, target country, and levels. Campaigns will also be shorter and spammers will take more time between them. These tactics are designed to help thwart botnet takedown attempts and mitigate the affects of those that do occur.
Cybercriminals will target businesses and individuals that rely solely on signature based anti-virus solutions and don’t use early detection. Finally, spear phishing attacks will seek out increasingly detailed amounts of personal data. The more detailed the more valuable and spammers and cybercriminals will step up their efforts to get it.
2013 is sure to be a banner year for malicious spam and phishing attacks. Be prepared so your company will be protected!