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USB worm tops global malware list

Dubai, May 18, 2010

Threats on portable storage devices, such as USB worms, have taken the top spot for malware worldwide, a study said.

Spam trends show that email subjects vary greatly from country to country with diploma spam out of China and other Asian countries on the rise, said the McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2010, unveiled by US-based McAfee, the world's largest dedicated security technology company.

Earthquake news and other major 2010 events drive poisoned Web searches, and US-based servers host the majority of new malicious URLs, the report said.

A variety of password-stealing Trojans rounded out the top five of the most popular malware list. Those include generic downloaders, unwanted programs and gaming software that collects statistics anonymously. Unlike past studies, the popularity of these threats ranked consistently worldwide, the report showed.

While spam rates remain steady, their subjects vary considerably from country to country.

One of this quarter’s biggest discoveries was that China, South Korea and Vietnam have the most significant diploma spam, which promotes the purchase of forged documents to establish qualifications for items such as jobs.

Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan have exceptional rates for delivery status notification spam indicating a possible issue with preventative mail-filtering capabilities.

“Our latest threat report verifies that trends in malware and spam continue to grow at our predicted rates,” said Mike Gallagher, senior vice president and chief technology officer of global threat intelligence for McAfee.

“Previously emerging trends, such as AutoRun malware, are now at the forefront. We were also surprised to find some of geographic difference in spam related topics, such as the volume of diploma spam coming out of China,” he added.

McAfee also found that Thailand, Romania, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Colombia, Chile and Brazil have a higher portion of malware infections and spam. These countries have experienced significant Internet growth over the past five years and are lagging in security awareness, the report said.

Attackers are leveraging major news events to poison Internet searches. Haiti and Chile earthquake disasters led the list (No. 1 and No. 2, respectively). The Toyota recall, Apple iPad and NCAA March Madness followed.

Referred to as search engine manipulation, cyber criminals continue to use analytics and page-ranking logic to exploit hottest search terms and drive traffic to malicious websites.

At 98 per cent, the US hosts the majority of new malicious URLs in Q1 2010, as rated by McAfee TrustedSource technology.

The massive share of new malicious URLs hosted in the US is due to the location of many different Web 2.0 Services, most of which are provided with US locations. Within the remaining 2 per cent, China hosted 61 per cent and Canada hosted 34 per cent. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | Malware | McAfee | USB | Spam | Trojans |

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