Attacks On the Rise, But Spam and Botnets Down

This is the time of year when multiple security vendors publish their respective full-year 2011 security research reports. Today, Symantec released Volume 17 of its Internet Security Threat Report, which shows trends that mirror similar reports released in recent weeks by HP and Microsoft — but with several new insights as well.

As other security vendors have reported, attack volume increased in 2011 even though the number of reported new vulnerabilities declined. According to Symantec’s data, the number of attacks rose by 81 percent. (In contrast, HP reported an attack volume increase of just 11 percent.) Like HP, Symantec reported a 20 percent decline in the number of new vulnerabilities discovered in 2011.