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Symantec ISTR reveals increase in cyberespionage, Philippines ranked 36th on internet threat activities

Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 (ISTR) revealed a 42 percent surge during 2012 in targeted attacks compared to the prior year.  Designed to steal intellectual property, these targeted cyberespionage attacks are increasingly hitting the manufacturing sector as well as small businesses, which are the target of 31 percent of these attacks.

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 ransomware and mobile threats, particularly on the Android platform.

“Cybercriminals continue to devise new ways to steal information from organizations of all sizes, they are not slowing down. The sophistication of attacks coupled with today’s IT complexities, such as virtualization, mobility and cloud, require organizations in the Philippines and globally to remain proactive and use ‘defense in depth’ security measures to stay ahead of cyber attacks,” said Luichi Robles, senior country manager of Symantec Philippines.

“While the Philippines is ranked 36th among countries globally on Internet threat activities, organizations should continue to take proactive initiatives to secure and manage critical information from a variety of security risks today. The top growing trends that organizations in the Philippines should watch out for in today’s threat landscape includes malicious programs that compromise computers and turn them into bots, targeted attacks in the manufacturing and small businesses sectors, and mobile malware,” said Richard Velasco, Symantec’s senior technical consultant for Asia South Region.

Christina Tee, technical consultant of Symantec Philippines, added, “Cybercriminals are targeting customer information, financial details and intellectual property. They have more ways than ever to spy on us, through computers, mobile devices and social networks. Any information they glean, from banking details to email addresses of associates, can be used in stealing identities and crafting further sophisticated attacks. One of the most significant innovations in targeted attacks is the emergence of watering hole attacks. The attackers compromise the security of a website that an intended target is likely to visit and once the target visits the website, their computer becomes infected with malware.”

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