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Symantec's August malware stats show rise in malware but drop in attacks

By Sara Barker
Tue 13 Sep 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Symantec's latest Monthly Intelligence Report has revealed that new malware variants are on the rise across the globe, reaching 45.5 million, the highest since the same time last year. Phishing attacks have dropped but email malware is also on the rise, suggesting a rollercoaster mix of threat types.

Web attacks have decreased across the month of August, to 415,000 per day. Symantec attributes the decline to drops in major toolkit activity.

Symantec says that the Neutrino toolkit has taken the top spot in web attacks, accounting for 13.9% of all activity. However, its overall attack rate is decreasing over time, by 7.6%.

Meanwhile, the Angler toolkit took out second place, although its attack rate is also decreasing. It currently accounts for 4.3% of all attacks.

Phishing rates have also dropped in August, down to one in every 3317 emails. The company says the rate is the lowest since February. The public administration sector has been the hardest hit, with one in every 1803 emails being phishing emails. Companies with 1-250 employees were also the largest targets, with one in every 2806 phishing emails sent to organisations of that size.

Android malware variants are staying steady, with no new variants found. Symantec says that manual sharing is the dominant scam method, accounting for 83% of all scams. Fake apps account for 2.04% of all Android variants.

Finally, spam rates have also dropped by 0.1%, down to 53.1% overall. The construction sector is still the biggest target for spam emails, accounting for 59.6% of spam emails. Retail accounts for 53.8% of spam emails, and once again organisations with 1-250 employees are the most spammed, accounting for 53.8% of all spam targets.

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