Trend Micro Q3 security roundup report showcases vulnerabilities and aftermath of data breachesAustralia sees increase in hits to malicious URLs clicked in Q3 2015

SYDNEY, 18 November 2015 – Australia was ranked fourth in the world for countries with the highest number of users who clicked malicious URLs in Q3 2015, according to Trend Micro’s latest security roundup report released today, “Hazards ahead: current vulnerabilities prelude impending attacks.” Australia saw more than 22 million hits to malicious URLs clicked during Q3, a rise from 18.7 million in the previous quarter.

These increases were noted as Australia saw a marked decrease in the number of spam-sending IPs hosted per country, halving the number to 2.2 million in Q3 from 4.7 million in Q2 2015.

The Trend Micro Q3 security round up report, which analyses the vulnerabilities and repercussions of attacks seen last quarter, unravels the aftermath of security breaches, loopholes found in mobile platforms and exploits posing risks not only to user privacy, but also to physical safety. These security gaps serve as a prelude to potentially massive events that Trend Micro believes will greatly impact 2016.

The interconnectivity of technology has led to a point where many devices are potentially vulnerable, and in the third quarter, the real world impacts of cyberattacks became clear.

“The evolution of breaches is beginning to take a turn toward real-world effects on enterprises’ bottom lines and people’s lives,” said Dhanya Thakkar, managing director of Asia Pacific, Trend Micro. “The emergence of numerous vulnerabilities and other data breaches that occurred in this quarter are bound to release more confidential and potentially destructive information to the public, which could then be sold to the highest bidder on the Deep Web.”

Data breaches experienced last quarter, such as Ashley Madison, spurred a chain of attacks, in which dumping stolen confidential information in public domains tarnishes victims’ reputations, causing far great damage than simple business disruptions. Cybercriminals, who leveraged the compromised information to launch extortion attacks and blackmail users, caused catastrophe for both Avid Life Media, the site owner, and more than 30 million Ashley Madison users – with reports of victim suicides in response to the impact this attack had on their personal lives.

Australia was ranked fourth in the world for countries with the highest number of Command and Control (C&C) server connections, behind US, Japan and India.

Additionally, security breaches impacting the healthcare industry were prevalent in the third quarter, with health and personally identifiable information (PII) the second-most stolen data type out of all data breach categories. These instances reinforce why the healthcare industry continues to be an appealing target for cybercriminals.

Attackers are continuing to set their sights on mobile device users, taking advantage of gaps in security that exist on the iOS and Android platforms. The discovery of vulnerabilities in Android highlighted the need for a more integrated set of security strategies, while modified versions of app creation tools debunked the notion that the iOS walled garden approach to security can spare the platform from attacks.

“As Trend analysts have observed, cyberspace has become more punitive, and attacks are no longer isolated,” continued Dhanya Thakkar. “To mitigate future breaches and reduce risk, enterprises must focus on intrusion suppression and address the advent of secondary infections. Integration of breach detection systems with intrusion prevention systems is fundamental to decreasing the time hackers dwell on their networks. Expect to be hit prepare to survive will become the mantra of 2016.”

The following are a few report findings, highlighting third quarter activities:

For the complete report, please visit here.


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