A quarterly report released last week by Panda Security detailed malware trends for the months of July through September of 2010. The details released were not exactly reassuring in terms of Internet security, either, as they noted that threats to users around the world are continuing to grow.
One particularly troubling statistic concerned email and spam. According the the report, spam comprised 95 percent of all email sent across the globe during the third quarter of this year. Botnets, or computers infected by hackers, are prime sources of email distribution. Many users with infected computers do not even know that they are sending out these spam emails. Despite their lack of knowledge about being infected, the fact that their computers and accounts are being used as avenues for spam distribution points to them directly as sources of the crime.
Of all the spam being circulated, ten countries were responsible for 55 percent of it. India topped the list of spamming offenders, and the rest of the top five included Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania, in that order. The United States, meanwhile, came in eighth on the list. The United Kingdom, which had recently secured an unfavorable spot in the top ten, did not make the list this time around. Perhaps improved security measures within the nation have helped them combat spam.
Panda Security's report also noted the distribution of infections by malware type, of which Trojan viruses dominated the list by accounting for 54 percent of all malware threats. The 54 percent was a four point increase from the previous quarter. Adware came in second, while worms, viruses, and other malware rounded out the list.
Trojan attacks are supposedly the most lucrative of all types of malware, which could easily account for why they are so numerous and dominate the malware distribution list. Due to their lucrative nature, Trojans offer a high return on investment, and are a savory target for hackers to create in the aim of stealing data to compromise financial accounts to pad their own pockets.
The countries with the highest proportion of infections were also released in the report. Taiwan led the way, with Russia, Brazil, Argentina, and Poland completing the top five. The United States came in eighth once again. Brazil moved up from sixth place in the previous quarter to third in the past quarter. Meanwhile, Chile moved into the rankings with the seventh spot, despite not being ranked at all in the previous report.
Another interesting find by the Panda report was the increased popularity of social networking sites among hackers. Due to a growing number of users participating in social networks, they have become a chosen target for malware distribution. Facebook, for example, was victim of clickjacking attempts that controlled its “Like” button. Many fake profiles pretending to be celebrities were also used to dupe users into helping hackers spread viruses. Twitter was victimized as well by MouseOver worms that secretly hovered over compromised parts of account pages. When users hovered over these compromised parts of pages, they unknowingly triggered redirections and other unintended actions.
For more, visit http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20018140-83.html?tag=mncol;title
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