The Internet Is a Dangerous Place, Symantec Puts Things in Perspective
Article by George Norman
On 13 Apr 2011
Security companies and security experts keep saying that the internet is a dangerous place, that it is host to all sorts of threats and dangers. There are viruses, Trojans, spyware, phishing attempts, and people with malicious intent out there who want to scam computer users.

Symantec, company that specializes in providing antivirus, antispyware, and internet security software solutions, has recently rolled out its Internet Security Threat Report vol. 16 in which it takes an in-depth look at the threatscape for 2010. The findings of the report put in perspective just how dangerous the web is.


Here are the main facts and figures about the threat landscape in 2010, according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report:

- A grand total of 286 million new threats were uncovered by Symantec in 2010. That’s 286 million new, unique malicious programs that made the round on the web.
- Web-based attacks increased by 93% thanks in particular to web attack toolkits and shortened URLs.
- 260,000 was the average number of identities exposed per breach in data breaches caused by hacking last year.
- In 2010 a grand total of 6,253 new vulnerabilities were uncovered. Symantec said that in 2010 it documented more vulnerabilities than in any previous reporting period.
- 14 new zero-day vulnerabilities were used in targeted attacks.
- The number of reported mobile operating system vulnerabilities increased by 42%, from 115 in 2009 to 163 in 2010. As a little side note Eugene Kaspersky announced at CeBIT that the threat posed by mobile malware will increase this year and Kaspersky Lab announced that mobile devices need protecting now more than ever because malware gets more sophisticated and professional in nature.
- With more than a million spambots under its control, the Rustock botnet was the largest botnet observed in 2010.

The bottom line is this: keep your operating system up-to-date and get an antivirus product to keep your PC protected. As the figures presented above demonstrate, the internet is a very dangerous place.

Tags: Symantec, Security
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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