Trend Micro Targeted Attack Trends 2014 Annual Report Calls for Reinforced Security Measures

Cybercriminals adopt new targeted attack techniques and assaults that threaten target networks.

Taipei , April. 14 2015 – Last year, Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704) saw a mix of seemingly state and non-state sponsored cyber-attacks. Targeted attacks, otherwise known as advanced persistent threats (APTs) have intensified over time alongside with newly identified techniques. However, regardless of the types of targeted attacks, intelligence gathering and data exfiltration remained as the common denominator. In Trend Micro’s latest Targeted Attack Trends 2014 Annual Report, various forms of targeted attacks were analysed, along with the agenda behind these rising assaults and other monitored attack-related command and control (C&C) infrastructure which poses great threats to the computing public.

“Cybercriminals are adopting techniques more commonly associated with targeted attacked because these prove to be effective in increasing their financial gain," said Myla Pilao, director of Trend Labs. “To fight back, organizations need to remain vigilant and adopt effective solutions to adapt to the changing cyber landscape. They need to reinforce a custom defence strategy, which uses advanced threat detection technologies and shared intelligence to detect, analyse, and respond to attacks that are invisible to standard security products."

According to the report, targeted attacks remained arduous due to threat actors proactively covering their traces in targeted networks. With the aim to gather intelligence and exfiltrate confidential data, targeted attack tactics continued to push the envelope with newly identified techniques. Trend Micro also saw cybercriminals adopting techniques more commonly associated with targeted attacks because these proved effective in increasing their financial gain.

Targeted attacks also remained to be a global problem, with the United States, Russia and China no longer being the only favoured targets for C&C server attacks. Based on the cases monitored in 2014, Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, and Germany topped the list of countries that hosted targeted attack C&C servers. With government agencies remaining the top attack targets, Trend Micro also saw a spike in attacks targeting hardware/software companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, and health care.

Given the increased volume of targeted attacks, ease of mounting them, and difficulty to protect against them, network defenders must be able to exactly understand what a shift in mindset from prevention to detection entails. This means that organizations need to adapt to keep up with the dangers that targeted attacks pose.

The report also includes expert insight from Trend Micro’s threat researchers and evangelists. The following are a few other highlights:

For the complete report, please visit here.

A blog post regarding the report can be viewed here.


About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Built on 26 years of experience, our solutions for consumers, businesses and governments provide layered data security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. All of our solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure, and are supported by more than 1,200 threat experts around the globe. For more information, visit