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Malware ‘at highest levels’

Dubai, August 10, 2010

Malware has reached its highest levels, making the first six months of 2010 the most active half-year ever for total malware production, said a report.

At the same time, spam leveled out with only 2.5 per cent growth from the first quarter of 2010, said the McAfee Threats Report: Second Quarter 2010.

Malware continued to soar in the second quarter of 2010, as there were 10 million new pieces cataloged in the first half of this year, the report said.

Consistent with last quarter, threats on portable storage devices took the lead for the most popular malware, followed by fake anti-virus software and social media specific malware.

With approximately 55,000 new pieces of malware that appear everyday, globally AutoRun malware and password-stealing Trojans round out the top two malware threats, according to the report.

After reaching its highest point in the third quarter of 2009, with nearly 175 billion messages per day spam rates have hit a plateau. Cyber criminals took advantage of anticipation on and hype of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and used various methods to promote scams and search-engine “poisoning”, the report said.

Globally, the report said most popular types of spam varied from country to country. Delivery status notifications, or non-delivery receipt spam, were the most popular in US,  Italy, Spain, China, Great Britain, Brazil, Germany and Australia.

Malware spam, or anything that comes with a virus or Trojan attachment urging you to visit an infected website, was the most popular in Colombia, India, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam.

Argentina had the most variety in spam, with 16 different topic areas, ranging from drugs to lonely women to diplomas.  Italy came in with the least variety, with just six types of spam.

“Our latest threat report depicts that malware has been on a steady incline in the first half of 2010,” said Mike Gallagher, senior vice president and chief technology officer of global threat intelligence for McAfee.

“It’s also obvious that cyber criminals are becoming more in tune with what the general public is passionate about from a technology perspective and using it to lure unsuspecting victims. These findings indicate that not only should cyber crime education be more widespread, but that security organizations should move from a reactive to a predictive security strategy,” he added.

Attackers leveraged major events such as the World Cup and Middle East conflicts to poison Internet searches, however the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was surprisingly absent from the top 20 toxic search terms.

Additionally, McAfee Labs saw a resurrection of two “dead” botnets. Storm Worm and Kraken, once considered to be among the biggest botnets on the planet, are again on the rise. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | Security | Malware | McAfee | Report | threats |

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