Financial data theft up 410 per cent

Financial data theft up 410 per cent

Security firm reports huge surge in attacks over Easter weekend

One in four security threats reported over Easter were aimed at stealing financial data, according to ScanSafe.

The managed web security company said that the 48 hours prior to the Easter weekend was marked by unusual traffic patterns for malicious internet traffic.

According to ScanSafe's data, information theft attacks rose by 410 per cent.

"The latent level of malware targeting financial information has been gradually increasing over the past two months," said the company in a statement.

"However, the week leading up to the Easter holiday saw the highest rise we have ever seen."

John Edwards, chief technology officer at ScanSafe, suggested that the attackers hoped that users would let their guards down leading up to the holiday weekend, and that the attacks used an unusual mix of old and new threats.

"Despite the fact that some of this code is almost a year old, it's still coming back to bite those organisations that have not implemented appropriate protection the first time round," he said.

"Attackers are clearly looking for weak spots in a company's defences and are targeting the quiet holiday period."

Edwards added that surges of activity were traditionally based on a single threat, such as a worm or virus.

However, 45 per cent of attacks over Easter used old malware such as Trojan-Spy.Win32.Agent.eo, while the other 55 per cent came from emerging threats such as Trojan-Spy.HTML.Bankfraud.ot.

ScanSafe claimed that it stopped attacks targeting 10 per cent of its customers. Based on this figure it is likely that other organisations were breached and had personal data stolen.