The public sector has become the most frequently targeted industry of 2011, according to Symantec‘s November 2011 Symantec Intelligence Report. The industry blocks approximately 20.5 targeted attacks a day.
Similar to targeted attacks, global phishing has increased slightly and Web-based malware threats are up 47.8 percent since Oct. 2011 and WS.Trojan.H² was the number one culprit. The public sector remained the most targeted by phishing in November, with one in 120.9 emails comprising a phishing attack.
The company’s November report found that the overall amount of daily targeted attacks has increased four-fold since January this year, averaging 94 blocked attacks each day of November.
“In November, one in 255 emails was malicious, but approximately one in 8,300 of those were highly targeted,” said Paul Wood, Symantec senior intelligence analyst for cloud. “This means that highly targeted attacks, which may be the precursor to an APT (advanced persistent threats), account for approximately one in every two million emails, still a rare incident rate.”
Zoom out, and this equates to at least one attack per day that is blocked in the U.S. The report indicated that 389 users are targeted daily versus the single attack every nine days that Japan has to defend itself against.
While the public sector took the number one spot, industries such as the chemical and pharmaceutical industry came close behind with 18.6 targeted attacks blocked each day. The manufacturing sector took spot three with 13.6 attacks per day.
Wood indicates that most attacks are unsuccessful until attackers, “are able to understand our interests or hobbies,” after which, “they are often able to construct more believable and convincing attacks against us.“
Oppositely, the global spam rate hit an all time low in three years, said the report. Email threats also decreased ever so slightly with a global ratio of one in 255.8 emails.