Symantec reveals biggest security threats of 2015

500m digital identities were stolen, while technical support scams increased 200 per cent year-on-year

Symantec has revealed 500m digital identities were stolen in 2015, while ransomware attacks were up 35 per cent and technical support scams increased by 200 per cent year-on-year.

The digital identities were stolen via large-scale data breaches, which, the company said, were on a much larger scale than previous years.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The security firm's report exposed the biggest security threats of last year, saying many of the attacks were made possible because of software bugs that were previously unknown by developers and companies responsible for keeping personal details safe.

The vast majority of attacks were carried out by gangs posing as software companies that could easily trick victims into sharing details unknowingly, Symantec explained. Some of these criminals have set up call centres set up specifically to con people.

"They have extensive resources and highly skilled technical staff that operate with such efficiency that they maintain normal business hours and even take the weekends and holidays off," said Kevin Haley, director of Symantec security said.

The types of support scams people were fooled by included the tricksters phoning up members of the public, claiming to be a support service. Victims would then pay for non-existent faults to be fixed on their computers. Another popular scam revealed by Symantec was via a fake pop-up on websites that would claim the victim's computer was infected by a virus.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Ransomware was also a popular method of defrauding unsuspecting computer users. Symantec reported it had received a number of support calls from customers claiming they were being asked to pay a ransom in exchange for the freedom of their encrypted data.

Countries most affected by the scams were based in the UK, US, France, Australia and Germany, the report revealed.

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Andrew Daniels joins Druva as CIO and CISO
Cloud

Andrew Daniels joins Druva as CIO and CISO

22 Jul 2020
University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million
ransomware

University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million

30 Jun 2020
Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security
cyber security

Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

30 Jun 2020
CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership
cloud security

CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership

30 Jun 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
Police use of facial recognition ruled unlawful in the UK
privacy

Police use of facial recognition ruled unlawful in the UK

11 Aug 2020