FEBRUARY 14, 2014
Your regular source of security updates from TrendLabsSM
In This Issue

Security Spotlight
Cashing in on Digital Information

Security for Home Users
Tips to Stay Safe from Threats This 2014

Security for Business
Defending Your Network Against Data Breaches

Security Spotlight

Cashing in on Digital Information

2014 has just begun and so it’s way too early to tell what the threat landscape will be like but it’s always good to learn from the past to prepare for the future.”

With 2014 already well on its way into the first quarter, it’s time to look back at and recount what 2013 was like security threat-wise.

Cybercrime and the Cybercriminal Underground

2013 saw an increase in the volume of threats that were specifically designed to steal money from hapless users. The number of online banking malware we detected rose to nearly 1 million by the end of 2013, with the United States and Japan being the hardest hit in the fourth quarter.

In the latter half of 2013, we also observed an increase in the number of ZeuS/ZBOT variants we detect in Japan. This suggested either a rise in cybercriminal activity in the country or that cybercriminals simply decided to target Japanese users en masse.

CryptoLocker, an improved ransomware version that rendered infected systems useless unless victims paid the attacker, made its debut in 2013. A rise in the number of ransomware we detect was also seen.

Finally, Paunch, the creator of the infamous Blackhole Exploit Kit, was captured and arrested, which led to a notable decrease in the overall spam volume in November 2013. Note, however, that the spam volume has risen since then.


The 2013 mobile threat landscape was pretty rocky, too. Android™ remained the most popular mobile platform and cybercriminal target. Throughout the year, we saw the number of malicious and high-risk Android apps grow to nearly 1.4 million.

We also saw Web threats, particularly phishing, come to the fore in the mobile landscape. In 2013, the total number of mobile phishing sites we saw rose by 38% from 2012. Spamming was often used to infect mobile devices with malware, as seen in the WhatsApp campaign.

Online banking threats also put mobile users at great risk by way of man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, which compromised two-factor authentication. The Perkele crimeware toolkit was specifically designed to target mobile apps. FAKEBANK malware also stole mobile users’ banking information, call logs, and text messages in the guise of a legitimate banking app.

Digital Life Security

Social engineering threats were also big in 2013 due to some very high-profile events that caught the world’s attention. The launch of next-gen consoles like the Sony Playstation 4® and the Microsoft Xbox One® had cybercriminals scrambling to unleash “Get one free!” survey scams.

National disasters like Typhoon Haiyan were also taken advantage of, as fake charities littered social networking sites.

What’s on the Horizon?

2014 has just begun and so it’s way too early to tell what the threat landscape will be like but it’s always good to learn from the past to prepare for the future. To get a complete view of the 2013 security landscape, view “TrendLabs 2013 Annual Security Roundup: Cashing in on Digital Information.”

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