‫ Summary of Symantec Intelligence Report: May 2014


Date: 2014-07-08


In this month’s report we take a look at what has happened in a number of key sections of the threat landscape. We delve deeper into the world of vulnerability, data breaches, spam, and malware, detailing what has happened so far in 2014 and bringing us up to speed through the month of May.

Targeted Attacks

The average number of spear-phishing attacks per day has dropped again in May, down to 54 per day.

The .doc file type continues to be the most common attachment type used in spear-phishing attacks, followed by .exe files.

Organizations with2500  employees were the most likely to be targeted in May.

Data Breach
May saw the disclosure of a large data breach, resulting in as many as 145 million identities potentially exposed from the breach.

The number of identities exposed each month had been rela­tively light for the first few months of 2014, following a series of massive data breaches in the last quarter of 2013.

Hackers have been responsible for 48 percent of data breach­es in the last 12 months.

Real names, birth dates, and government ID numbers, such as Social Security numbers, were the top three types of data exposed in data breaches.


Vulnerabilities are at their lowest levels so far in 2014.  There were four zero-day vulnerabilities discovered in May. Google Chrome has reported the most brows­er vulnerabilities in the last 12 months. Oracle’s Java reported the most plug-in vulner­abilities over the same time period.




There were three Android malware families discov­ered in the month of May. The number of variants per family was down slightly from it’s 2014 peak in April. Of the threats discovered in the last 12 months, 28 percent track the device’s user and 21 percent steal information from the device. In terms of social networking scams, 78 percent were fake offerings.

Phishing and SPAM

The phishing rate for May was one in 395 emails, up from one in 731 emails in April. The global spam rate was 60.6 percent for the month of May. One out of every 183 emails contained a virus.

Of the email traffic in the month of May, 13.7 percent contain a mali­cious URL, up from a low of 2.6 percent in April.




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