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APWG - Rise in Crimeware Sites & Fake Anti-malware Applications

APWG (Anti-Phishing Working Group) released its 'Phishing Activity Trends Report' for July-December 2008, according to which, websites spreading 'crimeware' and fake anti-malware software used in electronic crimes rose profusely at the end of 2008.

Reportedly, the total number of websites spreading crimeware and infecting computers with password stealing malware rose to a peak of 31,173 during December 2008, a growth of 827% since January same year.

This implies that with the progress of 2008, cyber criminals were busy in planting malware on people's PCs so that their login credentials and passwords could be captured to access different websites.

Further, the statistics given in the report show that the total number of fake anti-malware software increased from 2,850 in July 2008 to 9,287 in December 2008, suggesting that such crimeware increased more than threefold in 2008.

Dave Jevans, Chairman of APWG, said that while consumers continued to be targets of phishing attacks, the Group observed that cyber crooks concentrated on new efforts to spread Trojans, malware and crimeware, as reported by The EarthTimes on March 20, 2009.

The report further says that cyber criminals wish to escape from being caught and eliminated applied the same methods they had been using for many years. These methods include techniques of thwarting rootkits and AV processes and designing the maximum number of malware samples.

Thus, consumers need to be careful of fraudulent e-mails posing to arrive from banks, bogus security software claiming to be from vendors of unknown names, and websites designed to contaminate computers, said the report.

Commenting on the outbreak of fake anti-malware software, Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs, who also contributed to the report's analysis, said that there was nothing new about the existence of fake anti-malware programs. But it was only in mid-2008 when cyber criminals realized that they could potentially extort huge sums of money from users with these kinds of programs, as reported by Yahoo Finance on March 20, 2009.

Finally, the report further discusses the outbreak of phishing URLs during August-October 2008 that was primarily due to phishers, taking advantage of fluctuations in the credit and stock markets.

Related article: APACS Reports Phishing On The Rise

» SPAMfighter News - 25-03-2009

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