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AppRiver Released its Security Trends Report

Security company AppRiver recently released its annual report, "State of Security 2008", which shows that 2008 threats concentrated on tricking unwary Internet and e-mail users.

Incidents that were most prevalent during 2008 were related to either exploitation of breaking news through oil price phishing campaigns or use of malicious programs misrepresenting popular names like MSNBC.com or McDonald.

The report further said that phishing was frequently used attack method in 2008. The most commonly used phishing methods involved sending fraudulent e-mails that appeared to come from trusted banks or government. It also included sending e-mails that encouraged end-users to feed in usernames and passwords to update their accounts but the details were collected by scammers for their own malicious purposes. Another common phishing scam was the "Google AdWord account update" fraud that tried to illegally acquire account information.

AppRiver also disclosed that with the shutdown of the malicious web-hosting provider McColo in 2008, which was also the biggest of the year, spam dropped 75% across the world.

Moreover, the company noted the termination of a bot-infected network earlier in 2008 that was responsible for damages worth $45 Million by the Canadian authorities in Quebec was also the big news. In the process, the authorities feared 17 suspects aged between 17 and 26 years. The network had infected over 1 Million PCs across over 100 nations and was utilized for spamming and identity theft.

One more botnet was taken offline when New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs and the FTC jointly cracked down on an organized gang of cyber criminals who delivered spam from that botnet. Although the botnet is not completely offline, it is now being run with far fewer infected computers.

Along with these observations, AppRiver also predicts the state of spam for 2009. The company's Senior Security Analyst, Fred Touchette, forecasted that the trend of Web-borne malware would continue. Also, there would be increased malicious programs striking virtualization platforms like Windows Virtual computer, as reported by BusinessWire on January 14, 2009.

Touchette also predicts that social networking and job sites like Monster and LinkedIn would continue to be targets of malicious attacks in 2009.

Related article: AppRiver Reports Security Trends for November 2008

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