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Trend Micro Reports Confirm the Arrival of the Post-PC Threat Era

Android-to-Windows Malware Growth Rate of 14-to-3 in Newly Released Security Reports

CUPERTINO, Calif., Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the release of its 2012 Annual Roundup and Mobile Security reports, Trend Micro documents how cybercriminals have moved beyond the PC, targeting Android, social media and even the Mac OS X with new attacks. Highlights from these reports include:

2012 Annual Security Roundup - Evolved Threats in a "Post-PC" World
Trend Micro's Annual Security Roundup shows that most of our predictions for 2012 have come true, and we encapsulate 2012 as the year where threats launched the beginning of the "Post-PC" Era. Threats have now escalated past the desktop environment.

  • 2012 ended with 350,000 threats for Android as detected by Trend Micro. Malware growth reached 14-3 for Android versus PC, and it only took Android three years to achieve the PC volume of malware threats achieved within fourteen years. (1)
  • 2012 is also the year that Java supplanted pure Windows-based threats in the attackers' cross-hairs leading, among other things, to the first widespread attack against the Mac. (2,3,4)
  • English and Russian lead among the Top 10 Spam languages while India leads among the Top 10 Spam-Sending Countries.
  • Social media platforms continued to grow as areas of concern with attackers targeting them more, users putting themselves at risk by oversharing on them, and their legitimate services being co-opted to support cybercriminal activities. (5,6,7)
  • Enterprises and organizations suffered from data breaches and targeted attacks at an alarming rate. In one incident alone, the Global Payments data breach, costs have already reached US$94 Million and are still climbing. Targeted attacks are being helped along by the "children of STUXNET": attack code and kits like Flame, Duqu and Gauss that are derived from the STUXNET attack three years ago. (7)
  • 2012 was also the year of APTs such as Luckycat, Taidoor, IXESHE. (9)
  • Attackers adopted more professional software development practices rather than introducing new attacks. The Blackhole Exploit Kit (BHEK), Automatic Transfer Systems (ATSs) and Ransomware were all refined and improved with new features in ways that would make any commercial software vendor proud. (10,11,12,13)

2012 Mobile Threat and Security Roundup – Repeating History
Key to this report is Trend Micro's documentation of the growing mobile-threat environment and reporting--Android Malware accomplishing in 3 years what PC threats took 14 years to do. What is also concerning is that only 20% of Android device owners use a security app. This is not a risk worth taking, as by year end 2012 there were 350,000 threats facing this relatively new mobile platform. Trend Micro predicts that Android threats will increase to 1 million in 2013. (14,15,16)

Along with advice for users and IT professionals, readers will find:

  • New data as it relates to Aggressive adware in mobile devices as well as data leakages that aren't always limited to malicious apps, since even popular and legitimate apps can disclose data.
  • Nigeria tops the list of Top 10 countries at risk of downloading malicious apps.
  • India leads the list of Top 10 countries at risk of privacy exposure.
  • Thailand cell phones suffer the most out of Top 10 Countries when it comes to the Most Battery-Draining Apps.

Overall, 2012 unfolded much like our Chief Technology Officer Raimund Genes predicted (12 Security Predictions for 2012) particularly around post-PC threats, and the sophistication and targeting of attacks. As he noted then "Our hope that new OSs would make the world a safer place didn't work out." 2012 had shown that clearly to be the case. The post-PC malware era is here; and it's already looking to be a more dangerous era with higher stakes.

Reports are available @

2012 Annual Security Roundup: Evolved Threats in a "Post-PC" World
http://www.trendmicro.com/cloud-content/us/pdfs/security-intelligence/reports/rpt-evolved-threats-in-a-post-pc-world.pdf

2012 Mobile Threat and Security Roundup: Repeating History
http://www.trendmicro.com/cloud-content/us/pdfs/security-intelligence/reports/rpt-repeating-history.pdf

Hi-res image files from each report are available from the following:
Annual Roundup: http://about-threats.trendmicro.com/downloads/2012-annual-security-roundup-images.zip
Mobile Roundup: http://about-threats.trendmicro.com/downloads/2012-annual-mobile-threat-and-security-roundup-images.zip

References:

  1. http://www.av-test.org/en/statistics/malware/  
  2. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/java-runtime-environment-1-7-zero-day-exploit-delivers-backdoor/
  3. http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/10/apple-removes-java-from-all-os-x-web-browsers/
  4. http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/java-7-update-10-allows-users-restrict-java-in-browsers-209423
  5. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/infographic-public-or-private-the-risks-of-posting-in-social-networks/
  6. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/privacy-worries-hound-facebook-yet-again/
  7. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/the-dangers-of-posting-credit-cards-ids-on-instagram-and-twitter/
  8. http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/02/technology/global-payments-breach/index.htm
  9. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/defcon-2012-android-malware-in-luckycat-servers/
  10. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/blackhole-2-0-beta-tests-in-the-wild/
  11. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/java-zero-days-and-the-blackhole-exploit-kit/
  12. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/java-zero-day-exploit-and-ruby-on-rails-vulnerabilities/
  13. http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/evolved-banking-fraud-malware-automatic-transfer-systems/
  14. http://www.av-test.org
  15. http://about-threats.trendmicro.com/us/mobilehub/mobilereview/rpt_mothly_mobile_review_201209_the_growing_problem_of_mobile_adware.pdf
  16. http://www.trendmicro.com/cloud-content/us/pdfs/security-intelligence/spotlight-articles/sp-trend-micro-predictions-for-2013-and-beyond.pdf

About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), the global cloud security leader, creates a world safe for exchanging digital information with its Internet content security and threat management solutions for businesses and consumers.  A pioneer in server security with over 20 years' experience, we deliver top-ranked client, server and cloud-based security that fits our customers' and partners' needs, stops new threats faster, and protects data in physical, virtualized and cloud environments. Powered by the industry-leading Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ global threat intelligence data mining framework, our products and services stop threats where they emerge – from the Internet. They are supported by 1,000+ threat intelligence experts around the globe. 

Additional information about Trend Micro Incorporated and the products and services are available at Trend Micro.com. This Trend Micro news release and other announcements are available at http://newsroom.trendmicro.com/ and as part of an RSS feed at www.trendmicro.com/rss.  Or follow our news on Twitter at @TrendMicro.

SOURCE Trend Micro

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