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MessageLabs Reveals Rise in Malware Threats During October 2008

MessageLabs, an online security company, released its latest statistics on October 30, 2008 that revealed a 50% increase in the number of freshly infected Websites hosting malicious software and other potentially unwanted programs during October 2008.

The company's latest monthly Intelligence Report also discovered that the aggregate number of phishing e-mails rose from 14% to 59% of the total malware-borne e-mails intercepted in October 2008. Also, during September-October 2008, the number of phishing attacks increased 103% as scammers tried to exploit confusion arising from potential mergers and bailouts.

Furthermore, there was a slight drop in spam by less than 1%, but MessageLabs reported a rise in spamming operations abusing hosted services.

Maksym Schipka, anti-virus Technical Architect, MessageLabs, said that fortunately, organizations are more conscious about the malware threats and increasing their expenditure on the appropriate countermeasures. However, according to Schipka, the con artists always appear to know a great deal more, as reported by ComputerActive on October 30, 2008.

Schipka further stated that there was an increase in the total number of spam blogs on Google Blogspot and spam sent through fake MobileMe accounts. This is partly because of spammers gaining unhindered access to tools that can bypass CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing Tests to tell Computers and Humans Apart) anti-spam systems.

Moreover, Chief Security Analyst of MessageLabs, Mark Sunner, said that spammers are going one step ahead and testing the abilities of social networking sites like Bebo. Consequently, users of such sites are receiving more friendly requests from bogus profiles wanting to connect, as reported by MarketWire on October 30, 2008.

Furthermore, MessageLabs reports that an analysis of Web security activities shows that 45.9% of the total Web-based malware tapped were freshly introduced in September 2008. The security firm also spotted a median of 3,660 new Websites each day hosting malware and potentially unwanted programs like adware and spyware in September 2008, a growth of 22.8% since August 2008.

Additionally, Schipka advised organizations to deploy rate-limiting techniques to register limited e-mail addresses for prevention of spam.

Related article: Mozilla Rules Out Bug in Its Firefox

» SPAMfighter News - 11/12/2008

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