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Trend Micro analyzes malware situation in Asia-Pacific for Q1-Q2, 2009

According to security researchers at Trend Micro, during the first and second quarters (Q1 & Q2)
of 2009, there had been a very high concentration of infections from Autorun malware in most
Asian nations in comparison to any other part of the world. Channeltimes.com reported this on
August 6, 2009.

The researchers explain that Autorun malware is that malicious software which spreads through the
use of Microsoft Windows' autorun feature. According to them, 'Autorun viruses' proliferate
through USB sticks or via drives that are permanent and mapped. Furthermore, the Autorun virus
usually downloads more malware, largely password stealers and backdoors.

In truth, the researchers spotted two different malicious samples of the MAL_OTORUN program,
which displays characteristics and behavior same as those of PC viruses, which exploit autorun
security flaws within the Windows operating software. It may be possible that a gullible user
misses noticing the MAL_OTORUN malware, thereby allowing its download while accessing malicious

Say the researchers that MAL_OTORUN1 and MAL_AUTORUN2 normally infect PCs through removable and
physical drives such as thumbs/USB drives. In the Asia-Pacific region, the total number of
contaminations from these two variants counted to 92,773,402 and 127,902,379 separately for Q1
and Q2 2009 since 2008.

One more remarkable analysis that the Trend Micro experts made is that during Q1-Q2 2009
cyber-attackers especially malware distributors exploited various rumors surrounding the death of
Michael Jackson and the Swine Flu epidemic.

According to Country Manager Amit Nath for India and South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC), Trend Micro, a lot of web-links to Michael Jackson as also Swine Flu that
the search engines returned led to a number of redirections towards different malware sites that
eventually resulted in fake anti-virus programs getting downloaded. It is therefore advisable
that users exercise caution while clicking web-links appearing within high-ranking results on
leading search engines, Nath warns. Ciol.com published this on August 6, 2009.

Moreover, malicious programs associated with gaming websites also increased during Q2 2009
particularly in China and since the country supports a huge population for online games, there
was evidently numerous such sites hijacked to purvey spyware, Trend Micro reports.

Related article: Trend Micro Detects Spam Mail Declaring World War III

» SPAMfighter News - 8/21/2009

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