Desktops 'besieged' by record rate of crimeware-spreading sites

Rates of crimeware-spreading sites and rogue anti-malware programs used for a number of electronic crimes escalated steeply at the end of 2008, indicating that online crime gangs are investing heavily in automated systems to steal personal and enterprise data.

The 2nd Half/2008 Phishing Activity Trends Report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group - APWG - reveals that the number of crimeware-spreading sites infecting PCs with password-stealing crimeware reached an all time high of 31,173 websites in December. This represents an 827 per cent increase from January of 2008, the coalition says.

Further, the report found, rogue anti-malware programs increased 225 per cent from 2,850 in July to 9,287 in December. Rogue anti-malware programs are fake anti-malware products that can be used for automated phishing, extortion or, most commonly until recently, the fraudulent sale of a worthless purported anti-malware product.

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