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Issue of May 2003 
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Security Threat Report

Symantec released the Internet Security Threat report for the first time this year. The report traced hacker behavior and the patterns of attacks. The report also ranked countries in terms of cyber attacks and vulnerability.

The report contained some key findings like:

  • A six percent decrease in the level of total targeted cyber attacks, this refers to directed attacks on specific targets and excludes worm and blended threat activity, which are indiscriminate in nature.
  • 81.5 percent increase in computer vulnerabilities in 2002.
  • The most damaging recent blended threats, like CodeRed, exploited vulnerabilities for which vendors had created patches long before the threat emerged. This reinforces the need for companies to improve their security configuration and patch management practices.
  • 80 percent of all attacks were launched from computers located in only 10 countries and the tier one list of attacking countries included South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.
  • Power and energy industries experienced the highest rate of attack and severe event incidence compared to any other industry.
  • India ranked 16th in terms of overall volume of attack activity over the past six months accounting for one percent of the attacks.
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