‫ Summary of Symantec Intelligence Report: January 2014


Date: 2014-03-04


In this month’s report we take a look at what has happened in a number of key sections of the threat landscap. 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 January.

Targeted Attacks

Targeted attacks were up in January, reaching their highest levels since August of 2013.Small companies of250  employees or less were targeted in 39% of attacks, though organizations with 2500+employees were targeted more often.

The .exe file type was the most common attachment, making up24.7%  of email-based targeted attacks that included file attachments.


Data Breach

The largest data breach that was reported in January resulted in the exposure of 105.8 million identities.The reported number of identities exposed in a late-November data breach has since been

adjusted upward. This breach is now estimated to have exposed 110 million identities.

In the last 12 months,more than 500 million identities have been exposed.


32 percent of mobile malware discovered over the last 12 months tracks users. Traditional threats, such as back doors and downloaders are present in 14 percent of all mobile malware threats.

Risks that collect data, such as device info and banking details, make up 15 percent of all risks.  Three new mobile malware families were discovered in January, along with 139 new variants.



There were 555 new vulnerabilities discovered in January, bringing the total for the last 12 months to 6443. This is a 17 percent increase over the prior twelve month period. There were two vulnerabilities in mobile operating systems disclosed during the month of January. Google’s Chrome browser continues to lead in reporting browser vulnerabilities, while Oracle’s Java leads in reported plug-in vulnerabilities.


The global spam rate decreased 1.9 percentage points in January to 62.1 percent, down from 64.0 percent in December.

Mining was the most commonly targeted industry at 64.2 percent. The .com top-level domain (TLD) was again the most frequently used malicious TLD in January.

Top 10 Sources of Spam


The global average virus rate in January was one in 431 emails, compared to one in 164 in December.

Hungary topped the list of geographies, with one in 217 emails containing a virus.

The United States was the largest source of virus-laden emails, making up 66.5 percent of all email-based viruses.

Organizations with 250-500 employees were the most targeted company size, where one and 383 emails contained a virus.



The global phishing rate is down in January, comprising one in 1 in 1,444 email messages. In December this rate was one in 1 in 1,053.

Financial themes continue to be the most frequent subject matter, with 67.5 percent of phishing scams containing this theme.

The South Africa had the highest rate in January, where one in 530 emails was a phishing scam.

The United States tops the list of sources of phishing emails, responsible for distributing 39.9 percent of phishing scams.


Top 10 Sources of Phishing




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