Targeted cyber attacks, including attacks on leading mobile platforms, are set to rise further in future, security software maker Symantec said on Tuesday.

Targeted cyber attacks are more complex and challenging but the returns are also higher, prompting cyber criminal to launch more of this kind in future, a security strategist at Symantec told Reuters.

Last year was the year of high-profile targeted attacks. We will see so many more, Reuters quoted the strategist as saying.

Most people avoid clicking on suspicious links in spam emails, but in targeted attacks criminals act smarter. Last year, attackers posted millions of these shortened links on social networking sites to trick victims into both phishing and malware attacks, dramatically increasing the rate of successful infection, the strategist said.

Cyber vulnerability was in focus over the weekend as a fast-spreading SQL mass injection attack that illegally peddles a bogus scareware went viral, breaking anti-virus barriers and compromising millions of websites, besides defrauding unsuspecting victims.

Also last week, online marketer Epsilon was subjected to online hacking, resulting in one of the biggest data breaches in the U.S history. On Tuesday Epsilon indicated that the breach had hit about 50 companies in all, Reuters reported.