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Botnet Activity Boosts Spam to Even Higher Levels

According to the latest statistics from McAfee, which has discovered an increased and most lasting flow of monthly spam volumes, there has been a rise of 140% in the total volume of spam since March 2009.

The company via "The McAfee Q2 2009 Threats Report" issued on July 29, 2009 indicates that the increase has been due to growth in the activities of botnets. Approximately 14 Million fresh PCs were added to botnets during Q2-2009, a rise of 16% from Q1-2009 and are showing an infection rate of over 150,000 PCs/day on average.

Mike Gallagher, Senior Vice President and CTO of McAfee Avert Labs, said that the hike in botnet activity for more spam witnessed during April-June, 2009 had been frightening and the danger of Auto-Run malware was still persistent, as reported by PCMag on July 29, 2009.

Furthermore, McAfee reports that there has been an increase in information-stealing trojans as cyber criminals focus on monetizing their illicit online operations. Greg Day, Security Analyst at McAfee, said that the total number of such malicious trojans had been about 600,000, almost twice as many as discovered during 2008, as reported by V3 on July 29, 2009.

Social-networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have also been exploited for distributing spam. There is a growing popularity of spam-distributing e-mail accounts on social-networking websites, and cyber-criminals have even hacked high-profile accounts such as those of Barack Obama and Britney Spears. During May 2009, spam mails distributed through social networks deceptively led users to 4,300 fresh files related to the Koobface worm.

Moreover, McAfee reports that the largest botnet operation occurred in South Korea, with a 45% rise against Q1-2009 to slightly lower than 4% overall. This botnet operation in the country resulted in DOS assaults against the government websites of South Korea, the New York Stock Exchange and the White House in July 2009.

In spite of the large botnet expansion within South Korea, the US is still the most preferred destination for 'bot' accumulation, accounting for 15% of the total zombie PCs.

Related article: Botnet Misuses Google Analytics

ยป SPAMfighter News - 17-08-2009

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