Attempts to infect computers up 27pc
Dubai, June 9, 2010
Attempts to infect users’ computers rose by 26.8 per cent globally to add up to 327 million in the first three months of 2010, a report said.
The geographical distribution of malicious attacks is constantly changing, said the quarterly report titled Information Security Threats in the first quarter of 2010, released by Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content management solutions.
In the last quarter of 2009 the top three targets were China (31.07 per cent), Russia (9.82 per cent) and India (6.19 per cent), the report said.
In the first quarter of 2010 those countries remained unchanged. However, the number of attacks against Chinese users fell dramatically to 18.05 per cent, whilst those against Russian users rose to 13.18 per cent.
The two main channels by which these threats proliferate remain the Internet and drive-by downloads.
Today’s Internet is awash with malware strains composed of HTML code or scripts that are then placed on legitimate websites. The primary objective of these programs is to covertly redirect users to a malicious website that contains exploits.
Cyber criminals also openly lure Internet users to infected websites by distributing links to websites purportedly offering information or goods and services that they know will be of interest to the user, the report said.
Key to these types of attacks is that the exploits are used to take advantage of different vulnerabilities in browsers and plug-ins, as well as PDF viewers.
The total number of exploits of this type increased by 21.3 per cent, with nearly half of them targeting vulnerabilities in Adobe programs due to Adobe’s prevalence and multi-platform capabilities, the report said.
The introduction of stricter laws and an increased focus on cyber crime has forced the cyber criminals to conceal their activities. The result is a rise in the number of Trojans as malware of this type is capable of being disguised as a genuine application and can remain undetected whilst using legitimate software for its own purposes.
At the end of the quarter Trojans accounted for 21.46 per cent of all threats detected on user computers. Adware came second in terms of prevalence.
One striking trend has been observed recently: existing malicious programs are now being updated and made more complex. Established hacker groups are constantly working to perfect their creations and strive to make them more universal and suitable for attacks targeting both home and corporate users, according to the report.
Fake antivirus programs also continue to develop and have flooded the Internet over the past year.
The creators of such malware use a variety of techniques in order to trick users, such as copying the interfaces of popular security solutions, including Kaspersky Lab’s products, according to the report.
More and more frequently we are seeing the emergence of fake antivirus programs supposedly offering ‘technical support’ services too, the report said. – TradeArabia News Service