According to Symantec’s latest annual report, France is the second country in terms of the number of credential thefts in 2016. Ransomware is much more effective in the United States than in France where only 30% of ransoms are paid against 36% in the world and 64% across the Atlantic.
Security solutions publisher Symantec has released the 22nd edition of its Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR 22). Among the main lessons, the publisher was able to observe in 2016 an upsurge in e-mails containing malicious attachments compared to those containing links pointing to phishing sites which have declined. “Email has returned to the center of attacks,” said Laurent Heslault, director of security strategies at Symantec. “The number of malicious emails containing a link or malware has reached an unprecedented level. In detail, the report notes that in 2016 one out of 131 emails was malicious in the world compared to 220 in 2015. France appears to be more spared than the rest of the world with, in 2016, “only” one e-mail mail on 209 detected as dangerous.
In addition to the e-mail campaigns which have multiplied – having targeted many sectors and also polluted several presidential campaigns around the world, including those of Hillary Clinton in the United States and Emmanuel Macron in France – ransomware operations have also exploded, although France appears, once again, a little less affected than others. “We are rather witnessing a drop in ransomware in France at the end of the year and it is interesting to note that 64% of victims in the United States pay the ransoms against 36% in the rest of the world and 30% in France”, continues Laurent Heslault. Explanations to understand this phenomenon have not been specified. Are the French more cautious than others and more aware of the risk hammered home by ANSSI and C3N but also other players such as the NoMoreRansom.org group of not paying the ransoms? It’s possible. Worldwide, the amount of cyber-ransoms has exploded by 266% over the past year, from $294 to $1,077.
Mirai Vs Hajime: The malware war is declared
If the number of malicious e-mails and the payment of ransoms are less systematic in France than elsewhere, on the other hand the Hexagon is far from having been spared by the thefts of identifiers. Quite the contrary because the country is in second place, just behind the United States but ahead of Russia, with 85.3 million stolen identifiers against 791.8 (SIC) in the United States and 83.5 in Russia. France’s score has exploded compared to other years: it is true that the leak of Dailymotion account data has boosted the figure.
Among other highlights of Symantec’s ISTR 22 report, attacks related to connected objects and the Internet of Things also marked 2016. “It only takes 2 minutes for a connected object to be attacked, just like Windows in 2004 “, explains Laurent Heslault. “Classic Windows botnets have tended to segment and smaller ones are easier to take down like Mirai with several hundred thousand connected objects. We should also be wary of Hajime who is apparently to secure connected objects but who technically has access to all these objects at the same time”, warns Laurent Heslault. The cybergang war has only just begun.