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2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics (Summary)

January 19, 2014 4 comments

This post has been possible thanks to the contribution of @piz69, who kindly (and patiently) took care to aggregate the data for 2013!

Finally we can consolidate the data related to 2013 and draw some global stats summarizing the infosec landscape for the past year. Of course this data cannot absolutely pretend to be exhaustive, but rather we could define the charts  as macro-indicators of the threat landscape and the corresponding trend, since the sources of the timelines (from which the stats are derived) are open and therefore only show cyber attacks that were discovered and gained space in the news.

Before drilling down into the data for the past year, it’s worth to have a look to the trend of the last three years (with the caveat that data for 2011 are incomplete as it was consolidated into a form comparable with 2012 and 2013 only starting from September).

Apparently 2012 and 2013 have a very different shape: 2012 shows a constant trend (with a high activity between May and June), while, after an initial peak, the line for 2013 experiences a progressive decrease, reaching a stable state. This is probably due to the minor influence of attacks motivated by hacktivism throughout the year (see the next chart).

2011-2012-Summary

2011-2013 Data Trend (data for 2011 consolidated starting from September)

A closer look to 2013 allows to understand the influence of the motivations throughout the different months. The initial part of the year is characterized by hacktivism. Cyber Crime is quite constant and ends up dominating the second half. This trend does not mean a decrease of hacktivism, but rather a different connotation throughout the year: the global-scale operations executed by the Anonymous have progressively been replaced by local phenomena (for instance the cyber attacks in India and Pakistan). Also the first months of the year are influenced by the DDos attacks of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters against US Banks.

2013-Summary

2013 Attack Trend with the Drill-down of Motivations

Exploring the motivations shows a slight advantage of Cyber Crime (47%) over Hacktivism (44%), well above Cyber Espionage (5%) and Cyber Warfare (4%).

2013-Motivations

Motivations Behind Attacks (2013)

DDoS leads the chart of known Attack Techniques (23%) ahead of SQLi (19%) and Defacements (14%). It’s also worth to mention the rank number five achieved by Account Hijacking (with 9%) and the growing influence of Targeted Attacks ranking at number six with 6%.

2013-Attacks

Top 10 Attack Techniques (2013)

Governments and Industries have been the most preferred targets for Cyber Attackers with similar values (respectively 23% and 22%). Targets belonging to finance rank at number three (7%), immediately ahead of News (6%) and Education (5%).

2013-Targets

Top 10 Targets (2013)

And, last but not least, the Top 10 Countries chart is lead by US which suffered nearly 1 attack on 2, well ahead of UK (5%) and India (3%).

2013-Countries

Top 10 Countries (2013)

As usual, bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks, published in the news, and included in my timelines. The sample cannot be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012. You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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December 2013 Cyber Attack Statistics

January 15, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s time for the statistics derived from the Cyber Attacks Timelines of December (Part I and Part II).

As a consolidated tradition, the first chart to be shown is the Daily Attack Trend, which shows quite a constant trend with two peaks just at the beginning and at the end of the month.

December 2013 Daily Attack Trend

The Country Distribution Chart is quite monotonous: as usual the United States lead the chart (with nearly one half of the recorded attacks), well above UK (at rank number two with 8%). The other countries are quite far this month…

December 2013 Country Distribution

The Motivations Behind Attacks chart shows a clear predominance of Cyber Crime (62%) against Hacktivism (34%), a sharp increase of the first in comparison with the previous month when the values were respectively 53% and 45%.

December 2013 Motivations

Well, 28.4% of attacks into the Distribution of Attack Techniques chart are without a known origin (a sharp increase in comparison to 23.1% of the previous month). Defacements plummeted at 18.9% in comparison to 29.7% of the previous month), while DDoSes are in slight increase with 17.9% (was 15.4 one month ago). It is also interested to notice the growth of SQLi, at 12.6% against 4.4% of November.

December 2013 Distribution

Last but not least, the Distribution of Target chart, where a change at rank number one happened. In practice industry and government targets swapped their positions (with similar values in comparison to the previous month). Financial targets close the podium, leaving behind the other categories.

December 2013 Targetspng

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks, published in the news, and included in my timelines. The sample cannot be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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November 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

December 8, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s time to summarize the Cyber Landscape of November, extracting the corresponding statistics from the two two timelines of November (part I and part II).

Let us begin with the Attack Trend. From this point of view November has been quite active and stable (despite some breaks in the trend).

Attack Trend November 2013

The attacks executed by Pakistani hackers against India and Indonesian hackers against Australia influence the Country Distribution Chart, which is led, as usual, by the US, well above these two countries.

Country Distribution November 2013

Cyber Crime leads the Motivations Behind Attacks chart (53%), even if the spread with hacktivism (45%) is much smaller in comparison with the previous month when the two were respectively at 63% and 33%. For the second consecutive month, apparently, I have recorded no operations related to Cyber Warfare.

Motivations November 2013

The Distribution of Attack Techniques Chart sees Defacement at number one for the third consecutive month with 29.7%. DDoS ranks at number three with 15.4%, more than five points above Account Hijacking, which ranks at number four with 9.9. SQLi is constantly decreasing and this month ranks at number six with 4.4%.

Attacks November 2013

The Distribution of Targets chart confirms governments at number one with 29.3% and industries at number two with 25%. What is also interesting to notice in this month is the presence into the chart of Bitcoin Wallets, an increasingly interesting prey for Cyber Criminals, at rank number seven with 3.3%. Entertainment and Software lead the drill-down chart for Industries, while Political Parties (quite obviously) lead the one for Organizations.

Targets November 2013

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks, published in the news, and included in my timelines. The sample cannot be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

October 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

November 17, 2013 1 comment

Time has come for the October 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics. As usual they summarize in an analytic form the findings contained in the October 2013 Cyber Attacks timelines (part I and part II) and aim to provide a snapshot of the landscape related to Cyber Attacks reported in the news.

Let us begin with the Daily Trend of Attacks. The October graph shows quite a constant trend with two peaks around the 3 and (most of all) the 16.

October 2013 Trend

As usual, the US lead the Country Distribution Chart. India (4%) ranks at number two, a consequence of the continuous cyber attacks by Pakistani hackers, while Israel and UK (3%) are on an equal footing at the third place.

October 2013 Country Distribution

The Motivations Behind Attacks chart shows a clear predominance of Cyber Crime (63%), in net growth compared with the 44% of September. Hacktivism ranks at number two, and obviously in net decrease in comparison with 33% of the previous month. Apparently I have recorded no operations related to Cyber Warfare.

October 2013 Motivations

The Distribution of Attack Techniques confirms Defacement at number one with 27.2%. DNS Hijacking (9.8%) is for the first time in the podium at number three, while DDoS and SQLi, used to be steadily in the higher positions, are respectively at number four (8.7%) and five (7.6%), immediately ahead of Account Hijacking (5,4%) in net decrease in comparison with 20% of the previous month.

October 2013 Distribution Of Attack Techniques

Nothing surprising for the Distribution of Targets chart, which confirms governments at number one (23.9%), and industries at number two (16.3%). Targets belonging to Organizations complete the podium with 8.7%. Drilling down to industry fragmentation, software companies clearly lead the chart with 40%.

October 2013 Targets

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks, published in the news, and included in my timelines. The sample cannot be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

September 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

October 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Even if with a small delay, it is time for the Cyber Attacks Statistics derived from the Cyber Attacks Timelines of September (Part I and Part II).

As usual let us begin with the Daily Trend of Attacks chart. The chart shows a clear peak on September, 27th, due to a wave of attacks of the Anonymous against the Cambodian Government. In general, the number of attacks reported on the news had an increase in the second part of the month.

September 2013 Daily Trend

No surprisingly, US lead the Country Distribution chart. Also, it is worth to mention the second place of Cambodia, as a direct consequence of the wave of attacks carried on by the Anonymous collective. India is in the middle of a Cyber War against Pakistan and this explains his bronze medal just ahead of UK.

September 2013 Country Distribution

The Motivations Behind Attacks chart shows an unexpected overtake of Hacktivism on Cyber Crime. It’s also worth to mention the unusual level of attacks motivated by Cyber Espionage, jumped to a noticeable 10%: better countermeasures that allow to discover a growing number of sophisticated cyber attacks or a consequence of the marketing hype? In any case September has been particularly hard for Oil and Energy Sector that suffered several targeted campaigns.

September 2013 Motivations

The Distribution of Attack Techniques chart is completely unedited. Looks like hacktivists are shifting their preferences to other “unconventional weapons” such as Defacements and Account Hijackings. Maybe these techniques grant more visibility and less risks for the authors. Surprisingly for this month DDoS has fallen to 9% from 17.8% of the previous month. On the other hand targeted attacks are stable at 4%.

September 2013 Distribution

The Distribution of Targets chart confirms governments at number one, just ahead targets belonging to industry. Targets belong to Law Enforcements gained several positions in comparison with the previous month, raising at number three with 6%. Drilling down to industry fragmentation, financial services and E-Commerce lead the chart.

September 2013 Target Distribution

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks, published in the news, and included in my timelines. The sample cannot be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

August 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

September 7, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s time for the statistics derived from the Cyber Attacks Timelines of August (Part I and Part II).

As usual, it is important to point out that I cannot provide a comprehensive picture since I only take into consideration those events that, in my opinion, deserve to be taken into consideration. Nevertheless I believe this data can be useful to understand what’s going on.

Before starting, please let me thank @piz69 who gave me very useful suggestions to sort the data. I am not a big fan of Excel (and hence of its Pivot Tables), but I must confess they are very useful!

Let us begin with the Daily Trend of Attacks chart. The chart is dominated by the peak around the August, the 15th. A clear consequence of the mutual attacks between India and Pakistan in conjunction with their respective Independence Days.

August 2013 Daily Trend

US and UK confirm their top rank in the Country Distribution chart, with India that overtakes Pakistan, pushing it out of the podium. For sure the US are a willing prey for Cyber Criminals, but is also necessary to consider the influence of the Security Breach Notification Law, which grants a higher transparency. I wonder if EU countries will climb the rankings once the new Data Breach Notification Law will fully come into effect.

August 2013 Countries

Just like the previous month, Cyber Crime leads the Motivation Behind Attacks chart with approximately half of the attacks recorded. Hacktivism is stable at 35% while the growth of Cyber Warfare is related (once again) to the cyber skirmishes between India and Pakistan.

August 2013 Motivations

Apparently is getting harder and harder to track the real technique used to carry on the attacks (apparently nearly for one attack on four this was not possible). However, DDoS in on the spot again and leads the Distribution Of Attack Techniques chart for the known cases. The Syrian Electronic Army traced the line, so the influence of Account Hijacking is becoming more and more evident month after month. Instead the fall of SQLi keeps on. Apparently this technique is constantly loosing points (but I wonder how many of the “unknowns” were effectively related to SQLi.

August 2013 Techniques

And just for a change, once again, Governmental targets lead the Distribution of Target chart with nearly 26%. Industry ranks at number two, while single individuals (victims essentially of account hijackings) rank at number three.  It is interestig to notice, among the organizations victims of Cyber Attacks, the predominance of targets related to Political Parties, a consequence of the social protests exploding all over the world in these troubled days.

August 2013 Targets

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks included in my timelines. The sample does not pretend to be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

 

July 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

August 11, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s time for the Statistics related to the Cyber Attacks reported in the July 2013 Timelines (Part I and Part II).

You will find a (hopefully) welcome novelty from this month: as a matter of fact starting from July I begun to record the nationality of the targeted companies (not the domains), so the corresponding data will be reported in the statistics accordingly.

Let us begin with the Daily Trend of Attacks chart. Here the Summer shows its effects showing a constantly decreasing shape after the peak occurred the 15th.

July 2013 Trend

And here it comes the innovation. Easy Predictable US (well above the others) and UK lead the Country Distribution Chart, but even Pakistan is not that bad! The other countries are aligned at approximately the same levels. US and UK collected together the 45% of the attacks reported in the timelines.

Country Jul 2013

Just like the previous month, Cyber Crime leads the Motivation Behind Attacks chart. The levels are similar to the ones of the previous month with a light drop from 62% in June to 57% in the current month. On the other hand, unlike the past years, this summer seems quite problematic for the hacktivists, also due to the recent sentencing.

Motivations Jul 2013

It is true, this July has brought many innovations, and for the first time Defacements lead the Distribution Of Attack Techniques Chart. Also the account Hijackings are becoming very popular. For the first time (as far as I remember) SQLi and DDoS are out from the first three ranks, even if there is a meaningful amount of attacks for which it has not been possible to derive the used technique based on the available information. Kindly remind that I take defacements into consideration only when they are meaningful, that is targeting Governmental primary domains or high profile targets, or also when they cause the leaking of data.

Attack Techniques

Last but not least, Governmental targets lead the Distribution of Target chart with 29%. Industry ranks at number two, quite close (only three points far). The two categories swapped their places in comparison with the previous month. It is also interesting to notice the third position of single individuals, a consequence of the multiple attacks against Twitter accounts.

Industry Jul 2013

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks included in my timelines. The sample does not pretend to be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

May 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

It’s time for a drill down to the Cyber Attacks Statistics for the month of May 2013. As many readers ask, the data for the stats is derived from the corresponding Cyber Attacks Timeline.

The Daily Trend of Attacks chart shows a month double-faced. After an initial peak, the first two weeks have shown a quite low activity. The second half of the month instead has shown a revamping of the activity.

Trend May 2013

The Motivations Behind Attacks chart is maybe the most interesting thing for this month: Cyber Crime has overtaken Hacktivism at the top of the chart, but most of all, the chronicles of this month have shed light on many noticeable attacks motivated by Cyber Espionage (most of all the infiltration against Qinetiq and the compromising of most sensitive U.S. advanced weapons systems). The Cyber War between Taiwan and Philippines also influenced the chart.

Motivations May 2013

The Distribution of Attack Techniques assigns to the SQL injection the crown of the most used weapon for the month of May. DDoS is “only” at the third place with the half of occurrences. It is interesting to notice the high rate of attacks made by mean of account hijacking, at number four with the 12% of occurrences. a clear consequence of the long trail of high-profile attacks perpetrated by the Syrian Electronic Army.

Attacks May 2013

In comparison with the previous months, the Distribution of Attacks Chart “misses” the influence of the DDoS attacks against the U.S. Banks. Industrial targets lead the chart, followed at close distance by Governmental targets. Victims belonging to Organizations rank at number three at a greater distance.

Targets May 2013

As usual, please bear in mind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks included in my timelines. The sample does not pretend to be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

March 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

April 9, 2013 1 comment

It is time to summarize the timelines of March (part I and part II) into statistics. Of course this exercise does not aim to be exhaustive but only to provide a snapshot of the current landscape.

The Daily Trend chart shows a decrease of the attacks in the second part of the month with an isolated peak on the 20th: the day of the wiper attack in Korea. Except for this the trend is clearly decreasing

March 2013 Daily Trend

Hacktivism is still on top of the Motivations Behind Attacks chart with 50% of occurrences. Same rank and a value similar to the previous month when it was at 56%. Also March confirms that Cyber Espionage campaigns are becoming more and more frequent (or at least deserve an important coverage on the chronicles). Symptom of a growing attention or simply a media hype?

March 2013 Motivations

The Distribution Of Attack Techniques is influenced by the Operation Ababil against U.S. Banks, that has pushed the DDoS at number one with nearly one attack above two during this month. This is very different from the previous month when SQLi led the chart with 34%. Even in this case it is important to notice the growing presence of targeted attacks on the chart (strictly related to the growing coverage of Cyber Espionage campaigns).

March 2013 Attacks

Last, but not least, the Distribution of Targets chart shows the financial targets at number one with nearly 30% (a clear influence of the attacks against U.S. Banks). Governmental targets are immediately behind with 25.5%. At number three a (relatively) new entry: target belonging to the news sector gain the bronze medal with the 12.4% of occurrences.

March 2013 Targets

As usual, as I told before, no need to remind that the sample must be taken very carefully since it refers only to discovered attacks included in my timelines. The sample does not pretend to be exhaustive but only aims to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

1-15 March 2013 Cyber Attacks Statistics

March 21, 2013 2 comments

Here are the statistics for the main cyber attacks collected during the first half or March and reported inside the corresponding Timeline.

The Daily Trend chart shows quite an heterogeneous shape, with a peak occurring on the 13th mainly due to the wave of defacements against high profiles Philippine governmental targets. Instead the wave of DDoS attacks in the Czech Republic is the cause of the peaks occurred during the 4th, the 6th and the 7th.

1-15 March 2013 Daily Trend

The Motivations Behind Attacks chart shows a revamp of Cyber Crime, at number one with the 49% of attacks (against the 31% of the previous month). However the influence of hacktivism remains equally high (48%).

1-15 March 2013 Motivations

The Distribution Behind Attacks is influenced by the waves of attacks in Czech Republic and by the third phase of the Operation Ababil. As a consequence the DDoS flies at the first place of the chart, slightly above the 50%, and well beyond SQLi that ranks at the second place with “only” 13.2% of occurrences.
1-15 March 2013 Distribution of Techniques

But the effect of the wind of hacktivism does not end here. In fact the Distribution of Targets chart puts financial targets at number one with 27.5% of occurrences, immediately above governmental (26.4%) and twice as higher as news media, at number three with 14.3 of occurrences. It is interesting to note the “fall” of the targets belonging to industry, that, in the first two weeks of March, collected a “poor” 9.9% (but maybe this is one of those chart in which the smaller the value, the better it is).

1-15 March 2013 Distribution of Targets

I will never give up repeating that the sample must be taken very carefully and does not pretend to be exhaustive, since it refers only to discovered attacks included in the 1-15 March Cyber Attacks Timeline (the so-called tip of the iceberg). The purpose is only to provide an high level overview of the “cyber landscape”.

In any case, if you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.

Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).

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