Anonymous, LulzSec spawn 'one of worst' quarters

With a slew of security breaches and cyberattacks, the second quarter was "one of the worst on record" for security, says a new report from Panda.

Cyberattacks from Anonymous and LulzSec and breaches against everyone from Sony to Lockheed Martin turned the second quarter into "one of the worst on record," according to a new report from Panda Security.

Released this week, Panda's second-quarter report (PDF) examined the security landscape from April to June and highlighted a string of alarming incidents.

If you took the most irresponsible and brainless members of Anonymous and put them all together, they would be considered the most refined gentlemen compared to LulzSec.
--Panda Security

Pointing to the attacks by Anonymous and LulzSec against the likes of Sony, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Spanish police, and several government sites, Panda said that the line between "hacktivism" and criminal behavor has gotten fuzzier.

Panda clearly questioned the methods of the new breed of hackers, saying that Anonymous calls its actions "peaceful protests," even though such actions are illegal. Also mincing no words with LulzSec, Panda said that "if you took the most irresponsible and brainless members of Anonymous and put them all together, they would be considered the most refined gentlemen compared to LulzSec."

Though LulzSec recently announced that it would be ending its attacks , the group urged other hackers to carry on the fight via operation Anti-Security, or AntiSec.

Panda also called the quarter disastrous in light of the security breaches against companies such as RSA , Lockheed Martin , and Citigroup .

The theft of SecurID tokens from RSA was especially troublesome since, as Panda points out, cybercriminals were able to hack into the algorithm used by RSA to generate its secure keys. As a result of the breach, the company is now forced to replace the SecurID tokens of more than 400 million customers.

Panda Security

In the midst of the growing round of cyberattacks, malware also continued to grow during the quarter, with Panda finding 42 new strains of malware created every minute.

Trojans accounted for 68 percent of all new malware discovered, followed by viruses at 16 percent, and worms at 11 percent, the report said. Looking at actual infections, Trojans were also at the top of the hit list, compromising 70 percent of them, followed by viruses at 10 percent, and adware at more than 9 percent.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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