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‘Net’ Never as Perilous as Now, says APWG

With cyber criminals continue to set new records in spreading of malicious software, online security experts have become increasingly worried about the challenge they are posing to the security world. APWG (Anti-Phishing Working Group) in its recently-released report dated September 30, 2009 stated that during January-June 2009, the percentage of bogus AV (antivirus) software increased 585%.

The percentage of online banking Trojans, created for grabbing account details of financial websites, grew 186% in the same period.

Additionally, fake or phishing websites increased to a total 49,084 sites, the second highest figure since April 2007 when 55,643 phishing websites had been counted. The total number of reputed companies that were hijacked reached a record high of 310 during March 2009 and it continued to stay high till June 2009.

APWG's report also reveals that there was an increase in the total number of contaminated PCs that grew over 66% from Q4-2008 to June-end 2009, counting nearly 12 Million or 54% of all PCs scrutinized.

Furthermore, the total number of distinct high profile domain pairs (that suggest the total number of distinct URL occurring per domain) increased to a record high of 21,085 during June 2009, a rise of 92% from January's estimated 10,980.

David Jevans, Chairman of APWG, stated that the Internet had never been more perilous. During January-June 2009, phishing rose to record levels that the Group had ever witnessed. The biggest worry for security experts was the escalating proliferation and sophistication of malware created to capture Internet users' usernames and passwords. Jevans accordingly cited the new malware program, Trojan Zeus, which displayed such a high amount of advancement that even the best makers of software could become envious, as reported by BusinessWire on September 30, 2009.

Moreover, security analysts state that the proliferation of fake anti-malware software is growing at a rapid pace. During Q1-2009 alone, the number of new strains developed was relatively greater compared to the whole of 2008. During Q2-2009, there was a further fourfold increase in the number of strains over whole 2008, according to the analysts who attribute the main purpose for designing so many samples to the attempts of eluding identification by authentic AVs.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 10/21/2009

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