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2014 Cyber Threat Year In Review

CYREN’s new 2015 Cyber Threats Yearbook includes actionable data about new threat activity and 2014 year in review for malware, phishing, mobile malware and spam. CYREN analyzes over 5 trillion Internet security transactions annually, gaining insight on the threat landscape behind the headlines.

2014 Malware Year in Review

Emails Containing Malware

In the last year, the average number of daily emails sent containing malware increased by almost 50 percent, from an average of 1.69 billion in 2013 to 2.5 billion in 2014. CYREN captured 83 million new malware samples in 2014, up by 15 percent from the previous year, with the monthly average of 7 million, rising from 6.1 million in 2013.

Malware URLs

In December, CYREN observed its largest email attached malware outbreak for the year, with 10.7 billion emails sent on the 18th of the month, followed by another 10.7 billion malware-embedded emails on the 23rd. Malware URLs tracked by CYREN in the GlobalView Cloud increased by 159% to 1.06 million in 2014.

Zero-hour Malware Detection

CYREN detects ~100% of all zero-hour malware, 60% more than other leading anti-virus solutions. During 2014, in comparing our rates to the top 46 AV engines on the market we found that these other AV solutions only detected 40% of the same zero-hour malware.

2014 Phishing Year in Review

The number of phishing URLs tracked by CYREN increased dramatically in 2014, up by 233% from 2013. In 2014 CYREN tracked over 2,500,000 Phishing URLs, compared to only 765,000 in 2013.

Common Brand Names Used in Phishing Attacks in 2014

Most phishing attacks used brand names commonly known (and likely used) by the target victims, such as PayPal, Apple, Chase Bank,, and Facebook. However, there were some notable new names among phishing targets this year, including AirBnB and online gaming sites, such as the NCSOFT Games GuildWars,
Blade and Soul (Blade and Soul phishing specifically targeted the Japanese market), and BLIZZARD’s BattleNet system.

2014 Top Brand Names Used in Phishing
1. PayPal
2. Apple
3. Google

2014 Mobile Malware in Review

Mobile malware continues to expand at an alarming rate. Android malware, in particular grew by 61% in 2014, with an average of 9,170 new samples per day and 278,940 samples per month. The largest number of samples appeared in February 2014 (463,971) and the smallest number in September (239,237).

Top 5 Mobile Malware Applications for 2014

The top five mobile malware applications detected by CYREN in 2014 were:
1. AndroidOS/Airpush
2. Android OS/Leadbolt
3. AndroidOS/Revmob
4. AndroidOS/Opfake
5. AndroidOS/FakeInst

Mobile Malware by Type

In examining the Android malware clusters over a one-month period, 76% were SMS Trojan, 15% Adware, 7% Infostealer, and the remaining 2% either Exploits or some other form of malicious application.

2014 Spam Year in Review

The amount of average spam per day declined by approximately 30% from 78.2 billion in 2013 to 54.6 billion in 2014. The months of August and May each hold the title of highest and lowest amount of single day spam, with 107.9 billion spam emails sent on the 2nd of August and 27.8 billion on the 11th of May.

2014 Spam Topics

Pharmaceutical spam led the spam topics in 2014 with 42.34% of the total, followed by job offers at 23.36%, stock at 11.68%, and diet at 8.76%. Online casinos, dating, and various other scams rounded out the remaining total.

Reference: CYREN 2015 Cyber Threat Yearbook

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