BitDefender has released its latest quarterly e-threats report highlighting the UK’s top malware threats in 2011. After years of leading the charts, the infamous Conficker worm has dropped to 17th place. Adware now tops the chart with two family variants - Gen:Variant.Adware.Hotbar.1 and Gen:Variant.Adware.Hotbar.2 that account for more than 14% of infected files.
Placed first (10.94%) and fifth (3.43%) respectively, the two variants simultaneously create pop-up messages and open new browser windows, usually located to the right of the desktop. Data on a user’s online habits can also be collected in order to display targeted advertisements and shopping suggestions so that search queries can be routed to various advertising campaigns to boost the attacker’s revenue.
Software piracy has also received a boost in Q1 with Trojan.Crack.I ranking second in the malware charts. The malware now accounts for six percent of all infections, despite only making its first appearance a few months ago. The application generates unauthorised registration keys for shareware products.
Catalin Cosoi, Head of the BitDefender Online Threats Lab, said “The malware landscape in the UK is certainly different from that in the rest of the world. Whilst adware tops the chart in the UK, the Autorun function of removable devices still remains the number one vulnerability exploited by cybercriminals on a global level. This may be due to the different rates at which countries upgrade their versions of Windows or other operating systems.”
“Furthermore, this report highlights the range of malware threats faced by consumers and businesses, and the importance of remaining vigilant. While Conficker appears to be fading from view, a host of new threats are undoubtedly waiting to take its place. It is therefore crucial for security software to be kept up to date.”