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News

Global Threat Report Available For 1st Half Of 2010

McAfee : 12 August, 2010  (Technical Article)
McAfee releases the H1 global threat report highlighting the re-emergence of old botnets, an increase in USB vulnerabilities and the use of popular global events such as the World Cup as vehicles for malware
McAfee has unveiled its McAfee Threats Report: Second Quarter 2010, which uncovered that malware has reached its highest levels, making the first six months of 2010 the most active half-year ever for total malware production. At the same time, spam levelled out with only 2.5 percent growth from Q1 2010.

Malware continued to soar in Q2 2010, as there were 10 million new pieces catalogued in the first half of this year. 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.

After reaching its highest point in Q3 2009, with nearly 175 billion messages per day spam rates have hit a plateau. Cybercriminals 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." Globally, the most popular types of spam varied from country to country with some interesting findings. For instance, delivery status notifications, or non-delivery receipt spam, were the most popular in United States, 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 cybercriminals 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 cybercrime education be more widespread, but that security organizations should move from a reactive to a predictive security strategy."

Attackers made use of 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.
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