Incidents of data breaches and information disclosure climbed by some 40 percent over the course of last year, according to IBM.
The company said in its X-Force 2012 recap that over the course of last year incidents of data loss were driven to even higher levels as hackers became more brazen and state-sponsored attacks and advanced-persistent threats grew.
According to IBM, 2011 saw some 1,088 'data loss' events in which a company reported the loss of corporate data from a leak or breach. The figure rose last year as data loss reports topped out at 1,502.
"In 2012, near daily leaks of private information about victims were announced like game scoreboards through tweets and other social media," IBM researchers said in the report.
"Personal details, such as email addresses, passwords (both encrypted and clear text), and even national ID numbers were put on public display."
Researchers also found that even with the increase in targeted and APT attacks, denial of service (DDoS)and site defacement attacks remained the most common attacks and over the course of the year only grew stronger.
IBM noted that as the year wound down, the intensity of DDoS attacks grew as higher loads of data were thrown at web servers in order to shut down service. The company found that attackers are trading in their PC botnets for more powerful zombie servers. In one case, banks were targeted with up to 70Gbit/s of data.
"The 2012 bank DDoS attacks appear to be coming in part not from infected PCs, but from compromised web servers that reside in high bandwidth datacentres," the company said.
"By using security vulnerabilities in CMS systems and other popular web frameworks, the attackers were able to create a botnet of web servers that have a much longer connected uptime, as well as having more bandwidth in general, than home PCs."
Servers were also targeted for web application exploits. IBM found that cross-site scripting attacks were the most common for targeting web applications, comprising more than half of all attacks. SQL injection attacks were a distant second, but still a significant portion of attacks.
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