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Latest Intelligence for February 2016 

Mar 10, 2016 08:58 AM


The Latest Intelligence page has been refreshed through February 2016, providing the most up-to-date analysis of cybersecurity threats, trends, and insights concerning malware, spam, and other potentially harmful business risks. Here are some key takeaways from this latest batch of intelligence.

The email malware rate has remained high in February, when one in every 125 emails contained malware. Organizations with 1,501-2,500 employees received the highest number of malware-laden emails at one in 76 emails. The Retail Trade and Construction sectors tied for the highest industry malware rate, both seeing one malicious email out of every 97.

The Spartan and Angler exploit kits continued to top the list of toolkits responsible for web attacks, with 24 and 21.4 percent respectively. The Nuclear exploit kit jumped up to third place in February, comprising 6.6 percent of all web attacks by toolkits. Overall there was an average of 1,749 web attacks blocked each day in February, the lowest rate seen since last September.

Web Attacks by Toolkit_LOB.png
Figure 1. Spartan and Angler topped the list of exploit kits responsible for web attacks in February

Manual sharing remained the most common type of social media scam, increasing almost 13 percentage points in February. Fake offers declined during the month, dropping from 38.57 percent to 24.84 percent.

The spam rate in February decreased slightly, down 0.3 percentage points at 53.2 percent. The Mining sector was the most likely industry to encounter spam in February with 57 percent of emails containing spam, though this is down 1.8 percentage points from January. Construction and Retail Trade, which came in second and third in February, also saw decreases in spam, down 2.2 and 5.1 percentage points respectively.

The phishing rate decreased in February to one in 3,335 emails. This is the lowest rate seen in the last 12 months. Agriculture, Forestry, & Fishing was the most likely sector to see phishing emails in February, where one in 1,815 emails were phishing attempts. At one in 2,924 emails, businesses with 1-250 employees were most likely to encounter phishing emails in February, though the rate is down from one in 2,331 in January.

Figure 2. In February, one in 3,335 emails were phishing attacks

These are just a few items that stood out during the month. Be sure to check out the Latest Intelligence for February 2016 for more charts, tables, and analysis covering the threat landscape.

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