More than 430 million unique bits of malware appeared last year (up 36% from 2014) and, as real life and online become indistinguishable and cybercrime becomes part of our daily lives, these amounts no longer surprise us, based on Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report. Zero day susceptibility also found a quite dramatic increase last year, with the amount found up 125% from 2014. “In 2014, the amount held relatively steady at 24, leading us to conclude that we’d reached a plateau. That theory was short lived,”the report notes. There was similar awful news for data breaches exposing private records, spear-phishing efforts, and ransomware.
Symantec’s report demonstrates that there were a record-setting nine mega-infractions last year with more than 10 million records broken in each occasion, and the variety of reported stolen identities was up 23% from 2014, although Symantec notes this amount is probably lower than the real amounts as more businesses chose not to show the full extent of their infractions last year. Spear-phishing efforts directed at workers were up 55% last year, and ransomware strikes were up 35% and enlarged to any network-connected device, including smartphones, Macs, and Linux systems.