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Symantec Global internet Security threat report

Threat Activity Trends

this section of the Symantec Global Internet Security Threat Report will provide an analysis of threat activity, as well as other malicious activity, data breaches, and Web-based attacks that Symantec observed in 2009. the malicious activity discussed in this section not only includes threat activity, but also phishing hosts, malicious code, spam zombies, bot-infected computers, and bot command-and-control (C&C) server activity. Attacks are defined as any malicious activity carried out over a network that has been detected by an intrusion detection system (iDS), intrusion prevention system (ipS), or firewall. Definitions for the other types of malicious activities can be found in their respective sections within this report.

this section will discuss the following metrics, providing analysis and discussion of the trends indicated by the data:

  • Malicious activity by country

  • Web-based attacks

  • Countries of origin for Web-based attacks

  • Data breaches that could lead to identity theft, by sector

  • Data breaches that could lead to identity theft, by cause

  • Bot-infected computers

  • threat activityprotection and mitigation

Malicious activity by country

this metric will assess the countries in which the largest amount of malicious activity takes place or originates. to determine this, Symantec has compiled geographical data on numerous malicious activities, including bot-infected computers, phishing hosts, malicious code reports, spam zombies, and attack origin. the rankings are determined by calculating the average of the proportion of these malicious activities that originated in each country.

in 2009, the United States was again the top country for overall malicious activity observed by Symantec, making up 19 percent of the total (table 6), a decrease from 2008 when the United States had 23 percent of the total. Within specific category measurements, the United States maintained first rank in malicious code, phishing hosts, bot C&C servers, and originating attacks.

2009

2008

Country

2009

2008

Code

Zombies

Hosts

Bots

Origin

1

1

United States

19%

23%

1

6

1

1

1

2

2

China

8%

9%

3

8

6

2

2

3

5

Brazil

6%

4%

5

1

12

3

6

4

3

Germany

5%

6%

21

7

2

5

3

5

11

India

4%

3%

2

3

21

20

18

6

4

United Kingdom

3%

5%

4

19

7

14

4

7

12

Russia

3%

2%

12

2

5

19

10

8

10

Poland

3%

3%

23

4

8

8

17

9

7

Italy

3%

3%

16

9

18

6

8

10

6

Spain

3%

4%

14

11

11

7

9

Overall Rank

Table 6. Malicious Source: Symantec

activity by country

Attack

Percentage

Malicious

2009 Activity Rank

Spam

Phishing

19

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