March 16, 2015 By Pamela Cobb < 1 min read

The 2016 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Report is now available! Read the complete report today.

When we look back in history to review and understand the past year, you can be assured it will be remembered as a year of significant change. From exploitation of critical vulnerabilities in widely used Internet-facing open-source libraries, to international privacy concerns, to a deluge of highly publicized data breaches, few would argue that 2014 had the makings of a perfect storm of security incidents.

The latest quarterly report from the IBM X-Force research and development team provides a roundup of 2014’s most significant security incidents and delineates the overarching themes that emerged in our year-end analysis.

Among the report’s highlights are these facts and findings:

  • About 1 billion records of PII were leaked in 2014. The nature of breaches, in addition to making the tally challenging, expanded to include not just financial gain but also terrorist threats and personal embarrassment.
  • Designer vulnerabilities, like Heartbleed and Shellshock, revealed cracks in the foundation of underlying libraries that handle cryptographic functionality on nearly every common web platform as well as common content management systems (CMS).
  • The Citadel malware, initially introduced in a Russian underground forum, offers cybercriminals an advanced tool with “classic” Zeus capabilities as well as new features added based on crowd-sourcing feedback. These new variants are being used to attack industries beyond financial and banking industries.
  • App designer apathy can negatively impact security on mobile devices as app designers may not roll out properly patched versions in a timely fashion. Despite warnings, 10 of the 17 (59%) of banking applications using Apache Cordova we tracked are still vulnerable 3 months later.

Read all the latest research from IBM X-Force

More from X-Force

Phishing kit trends and the top 10 spoofed brands of 2023

4 min read -  The 2024 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index reported that phishing was one of the top initial access vectors observed last year, accounting for 30% of incidents. To carry out their phishing campaigns, attackers often use phishing kits: a collection of tools, resources and scripts that are designed and assembled to ease deployment. Each phishing kit deployment corresponds to a single phishing attack, and a kit could be redeployed many times during a phishing campaign. IBM X-Force has analyzed thousands of…

Grandoreiro banking trojan unleashed: X-Force observing emerging global campaigns

16 min read - Since March 2024, IBM X-Force has been tracking several large-scale phishing campaigns distributing the Grandoreiro banking trojan, which is likely operated as a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS). Analysis of the malware revealed major updates within the string decryption and domain generating algorithm (DGA), as well as the ability to use Microsoft Outlook clients on infected hosts to spread further phishing emails. The latest malware variant also specifically targets over 1500 global banks, enabling attackers to perform banking fraud in over 60 countries…

Threat intelligence to protect vulnerable communities

2 min read - Key members of civil society—including journalists, political activists and human rights advocates—have long been in the cyber crosshairs of well-resourced nation-state threat actors but have scarce resources to protect themselves from cyber threats. On May 14, 2024, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a High-Risk Communities Protection (HRCP) report developed through the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative that addresses the threat to these vulnerable groups, with findings contributed by the X-Force Threat Intelligence team.Cyber criminals seek stolen credentialsThe HRCP…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today
Press play to continue listening
00:00 00:00