GFI Report Details Top 10 Threat Detections for January 2012
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GFI Software, a provider of security solutions for small to medium-sized businesses, released its VIPRE Report for January 2012. The report details the top 10 detected threats for last month based on scan data collected from thousands of GFI VIPRE Antivirus users who employ the company’s ThreatNet automated threat tracking technology. The results show that malware is alive and strong on the Web, with Trojans dominating the threat landscape.
Of the top ten threat detections for January, GFI found that Trojans are the king, as they held five of the top ten spots. The top overall threat came from the Trojan.Win32.Generica virus, which accounted for 35.1 percent of all detected threats. Besides the five Trojan threats, three of the top ten threats came from adware, one from exploits, and one from a rogue security program.
Chris Boyd, senior threat researcher at GFI, commented on the wide range of victims being targeted: “Anyone who goes on the internet is a potential target for cybercriminals looking to infect systems and scam users. Malware writers and phishers do not discriminate. They purposefully cast a wide net when picking their methods of attack in order to reach as many targets as possible. Whether you are a young gamer, a successful business owner or a government employee, you need to be wary when clicking on links that appear to pertain to your interests, especially when asked to submit personal information online.”
A closer look at the top ten threats reveals the many methods being used by cybercriminals to exploit unsuspecting victims. Small business owners were targeted by phishing emails posing as official correspondence from the Better Business Bureau. The emails claimed that a customer filed a complaint against the business and also contained links leading to malware developed via the Blackhole exploit kit. Tumblr users were targeted with a phony promise from the so-called Tumblr Staff Blog of free Southwest Airlines tickets if they filled out surveys using personal information.
Cybercriminals also leveraged the popularity of hot topics. Gamers searching for bootlegged copies of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 were hit with rootkits, while those seeking a closer glimpse at the upcoming Halo release were conned into filling surveys and sharing links on social networking sites in exchange for phony beta invites. News of the closing of Megaupload, a popular file hosting site, resonated around the world, which led scammers to employ a domain typo scheme. Regular Megaupload users or casual surfers hoping to see the FBI notice on the site would be redirected to malicious sites phishing for personal information and offering bogus prizes if they misspelled the URL.
Boyd commented on the increasing ingenuity of cybercriminals: “While cybercriminals may not be picky about their choice of victims, their choice of tactics is anything but haphazard. Cybercrime campaigns are designed to cripple systems and steal personal information, but first they have to reach the victim. Once they know the profile of the group they want to attack, they will do anything they can to increase their chances of success and fool users into playing along.”
For more on this topic, visit http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cybercriminals-cast-a-wide-net-in-january-targeting-a-broad-range-of-victims-2012-02-08
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