Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Access Control
Deutsche Zone (German Zone)
Education, Training and Professional Services
Government Programmes
Guarding, Equipment and Enforcement
Industrial Computing Security
IT Security
Physical Security
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
ProSecurityZone Sponsor

McAfee global malware report details regional variations.

McAfee : 22 February, 2008  (Technical Article)
As malware becomes more sophisticated and geared towards fast profits, McAfee Avert takes a look at the factors behind the large global growth in malicious software.
Cybercriminals are increasingly crafting attacks in multiple languages and are exploiting popular local applications to maximise their profits, according to a new McAfee report released today.

"This isn't malware for the masses anymore," said Jeff Green, senior vice president, McAfee Avert Labs. "Cybercrooks have become extremely deft at learning the nuances of the local regions and creating malware specific to each country. They're not skilled just at computer programming—they're skilled at psychology and linguistics, too."

McAfee Avert Labs examined global malware trends in its third Global Threat Report, titled "One Internet, Many Worlds." The report is based on data compiled by McAfee's international security experts and examines the globalisation of threats and the unique threats in different countries and regions. In the report, McAfee details the following trends and conclusions:

* Sophisticated malware authors have increased country-, language-, company-, and software-specific attacks.
* Cyber-attackers are increasingly attuned to cultural differences and tailor social engineering attacks accordingly.
* Cybercrime rings recruit malware writers in countries with high unemployment and high levels of education such as Russia and China.
* Cybercriminals take advantage of countries where law enforcement is lax.
* Around the world, malware authors are exploiting the viral nature of Web 2.0 and peer-to-peer networks.
* More exploits than ever before are targeted at locally popular software and applications.

"Malware has become more regional in nature during the past couple of years," said Green. "This trend is further evidence that today's cyber-attacks are targeted and driven by a financial motive, instead of the glory and notoriety of yesteryear's cyber graffiti and fast-spreading worms. We're in a constant chess match with malware authors, and we're prepared to counter them in any language they're learning to speak."

Geographical trends:.

The United States: The Great Malware Melting Pot - Once the launching pad of all malware, today malware in the US includes elements of malicious software seen around the world. Attackers use increasingly clever social engineering skills to trick victims and are looking to exploit the viral nature of Web 2.0. Although the United States has cybercrime laws in place, the lack of international cybercrime laws and the differences in extradition treaties make it difficult for enforcement agents to prosecute criminals across borders.

Europe: Malware Learns the Language - With 23 languages in the European Union alone, language barriers used to be a hurdle for miscreants. Consumers in non-English speaking countries often simply deleted English-language spam and phishing e-mail. Today malware authors adapt the language to the Internet domain site where the scam mesglobal threat report is being sent, and malicious Web sites serve up malware in a language determined by the country the target is located in. Cultural events such as the FIFA soccer World Cup in the summer of 2006 prompted email scams and phishing sites luring in soccer lovers. With the increased sophistication of malware, computer users in the EU are under attack.

China: Virtual Entertainment - With more than 137 million computer users—a quarter of whom play online games—malware authors are cashing in on virtual goods, currency, and online games. A majority of the malware found in China is password-stealing Trojans—designed to steal users' identities in online games and their credentials for virtual currency accounts. China has also become a breeding ground for malware writers, as a large number of skilled coders do not have legitimate work. The conditions have driven these hackers to cybercrime in search of money.

Japan: Losing to Winny—Malware Spreads from Peer to Peer - Winny, a popular peer-to-peer application in Japan is prone to malware infestations that can cause serious data leaks. When deployed in the corporate setting, malware on Winny can expose data, steal passwords, and delete files. Unlike in most countries, malware authors in Japan are not motivated by money—instead authors seek to expose or delete sensitive data on machines. Another common target in Japan is Ichitaro, a popular word processor. There have been several attacks against Ichitaro users that exploited un-patched security vulnerabilities to install spyware on the target machines.

Russia: Economics, Not Mafia, Fuel Malware - The technical skills of Russians in a stumbling economy make for an active market of hackers. Some of the most notorious attack toolkits are produced in Russia and sold in underground markets. These grey-market malware tools, combined with lack of legislation against cybercrime, lead experts to believe that the Russian mafia will soon—if they haven't already—latch onto computer crime. Although the Russian economic situation, like that of China's, has driven many hackers to a life of cybercrime, Avert Labs predicts that with a strengthening economy and stronger law enforcement, Russian-made malware will gradually decrease.

Brazil: Bilking the Bank - Miscreants have made an international showcase out of Brazil when it comes to bilking online bank accounts. With a majority of Brazilians banking online, Cybercrooks use sophisticated social engineering scams to trick Brazilians into giving up personal information. In 2005 alone, the Brazilian Banks Association estimated losses at R$300 million (about $165 million USD) due to virtual fraud. Malware creators rapidly adapt password-stealing Trojans to the changes banks make to their Web sites.

Global View of Threats—By the Numbers:.

* 371,002--Total threats identified by McAfee Avert Labs as of Feb. 1, 2008.
* 131,800--Threats identified by Avert Labs solely in 2007.
* 53,567--Unique pieces of malware in 2006.
* 246%--Growth of malware from 2006 to 2007.
* 527 - New malware identified daily by Avert Labs at the start of 2008.
* 750 - Expected number of new malware identified daily by Avert Labs at the end of 2008.

"It's mind-boggling how sophisticated and savvy some of these attacks are," said Joe Telafici, vice president of Avert Labs operations. "Cybercriminals are learning to exploit the cultural uniqueness of computer users around the world. But our global team of experts is prepared to fight against them and protect users."

The Global Threat Report is available for download through the McAfee Threat Centre

Bookmark and Share
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
   © 2012
Netgains Logo