Zombie Driven Spam Becoming More Common
According to Symantec's latest 'State of Spam' report, malware-laced e-mails are becoming common day-by-day compared to what they were during January-June 2008. It has also estimated that about 1.2% of the total e-mail sent carries some malicious payload. On the whole, it discovered that spam accounts for 78% of the entire global e-mail.
Moreover, the researchers discovered that while .rar and .zip files attached to e-mails were highly popular methods to spread malicious programs, adding exploit code to the messages' source code was also getting popular.
The rise in addition of exploit code in message source code started in May 2008 and has continued till now, states the report, as reported by Vnunet on October 7, 2008.
Moreover, the most dominant spam attacks involved computer-related services or the Internet (24%), and monetary affairs-related e-mails (20%), representing spammers' maximum abuse of the US housing market crisis and the overall economic instability.
Also, according to the report, most of the malevolent payloads detected were generic Trojan horses, information-stealing and downloader applications. While Trojan attacks accounted for 13.4% of all malware detections, info-stealers and downloaders comprised 11.1% and 11.8% of all malware respectively.
Moreover, the Pandex Trojan spread most commonly through spam, followed by W32.IRCBot and the Goldun Trojan.
Further, China was the most favored origin to generate the malevolent spam mails, followed by the Republic of Korea, the US, Thailand and Vietnam in that order, the report states.
However, according to Symantec, the most outrageous development is related to the increase in zombie systems worldwide. Security specialists state that a 'zombie' system is a computer, which has been succumbed to a virus attack and is under a bot's control.
Furthermore, the researchers at Symantec said that in August 2008, the total number of zombies distributing spam dropped 37%, but it leaped 101% in September 2008, and the primary region to drive this rise was EMEA. Among the EMEA countries, Turkey was found generating the most zombie IP addresses.
Hence, the company warns that users need to increase their awareness of e-mail links and attachments in order to reverse the prevailing outrageous trend.
» SPAMfighter News - 14-10-2008