'Blended threats' growing as malware gets smarter

While spam volumes and new zombies have decreased in the past quarter, enterprises and home users are increasingly being attacked through malicious Web content and blended security attacks, warns Secure Computing’s Internet Threat Report.

The Secure Computing report states that even though the overall spam volume is up 280 per cent from Q2/2007 to Q2/2008, spam volumes have decreased by 40 per cent this quarter. Q2/2007 also saw over 300,000 new zombies per day, and during the second quarter of 2008 Secure Computing saw half that amount. Even though both spam and new zombies are down so far this year, Secure Computing researchers point to other areas that are increasingly problematic:

  • Male enhancement, product replica, and prescription drug spam continue hold the top three places of types of the threat species.
  • Swizzor, a rapidly-growing ad/spyware family, now makes up more than 30 per cent of all new malware in Q2/2008.
  • The ZBot spyware family is another such ad/spyware family that has grown this quarter. ZBot steals users’ sensitive data while establishing a backdoor on infected computers to give the attackers full control over compromised systems.

Spammers are continuing to use pop culture and current events (elections, Olympics) to entice end-users into responding or clicking on links whose sole purpose is to download malware, the report says. The excitement over seeing a video of breaking news of an earthquake in China or the new sensational photos of favourite celebrity can occasionally encourage the most cautious users to open what could be suspicious mail.

Further information:
www.securecomputing.com/pdf/SCC-InternetThrtRprt-July08.pdf [1Mb]

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