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Panda Security - Trojan & Spyware Programs Volume Increased in Q1 2009

According to Panda Security's latest report on malicious threats, Trojan programs represented 73% of the total malware created during Q1 2009 while there was a rapid use of spyware at 13.15% compared to only 2.5% during the preceding quarter (Q4 2008).

Jeremy Matthews, Head of sub-Saharan Operations, Panda Security, states that the company has observed a remarkable rise in the total number of spyware programs circulating on the Net. They are most probably aimed at overfilling laboratories and thereby infecting more end-users, as reported by ITWeb on May 7, 2009.

Matthews says that in some cases, cyber criminals have achieved great success. He gave an example of the Virtumonde spyware that infected computers in much greater numbers compared to any other malware during Q1 2009.

Moreover, the security researchers at Panda Security say that Virtumonde combines the traits of both spyware and adware to monitor the Web movements of users, manipulate results from search engines, and display pop-ups and advertising banners for certain products. Although spyware programs have grown substantially, they have been far less than trojans (31.51%) as well as adware (21.13%) in terms of the total number of PCs they infected during Q1 2009.

Meanwhile, the country still encountering the largest number of malicious codes is Taiwan (31.7%). Other notable countries are Brazil and Turkey, placed at 2nd and 3rd positions respectively, leaving behind Spain and the US. In Mexico, however, there has been a declining trend for active malicious codes (17.95%), falling nearly 10% as against the mean 24.87% for the entire 2008.

Additionally, the report further reveals that although the Conficker virus first emerged at the end of 2008, it has kept security agencies most busy in the recent months because of the numerous infections it caused during December 2008-January 2009. Besides, there were concerns regarding the worm's so-called reactivation on April 1, 2009; nevertheless, there have been no additional infections or new variants so far.

But Matthews warns that still any of the Conficker-created URLs on April 1 could become active at any time to unleash an update of the worm, as reported by MyBroadband on May 7, 2009.

Related article: Panda-Like Virus Plagues China’s Internet

» SPAMfighter News - 14-05-2009

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