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McAfee’s Q3 Report Finds Bleak Online Security Scenario

Security company McAfee in its new threat report states that malware, spam and other online threats have attained unprecedented levels.

Web-related assaults are currently the most sophisticated and dangerous weapons used by cybercriminals to fulfill their malicious purposes. These assaults could originate from fake websites, compromised legitimate websites, redirects, social-networking websites and phishing e-mails.

Says McAfee, malware writers capitalize on news stories such as natural disasters and death of famous personalities for concealing their destructive activities.

Besides, threats originating from the Web are now highly popular attack vectors, suggests the Third Quarter 2009 McAfee Threats Report; however, the firm warns that businesses also seem to be increasingly experiencing extortion attacks that cyber-crooks launch against them by means of denial-of-service attacks.

This tendency, according to McAfee, can be attributed to the readily available DDoS services in the world of cyber crime. Indeed, during Q3-2009, McAfee Labs noticed several novel DOS attacks, including some demanding ransom.

Apart from this, spam level has attained record levels, having contributed 92% of the total e-mail traffic during the third quarter of 2009 and depicting 24% increase from the corresponding period of 2008, reveals the report.

Moreover, spammers used extremely effective social engineering tactics during Q3-2009, masquerading as prominent government organizations in effort to entice users towards following malicious web-links that take them onto attack websites.

Nearly 13 Million fresh hijacked computers were included in the worldwide botnets during Q3-2009 that accounted for a moderate decline of 1 Million from the preceding quarter. The security firm estimates that 148,000 new compromised zombie systems have been included in botnets daily during 2009. Majority of these zombies are developed in the US, slightly more than 13%, while the UK, accounting for nearly 3% zombies, occupies the ninth position on the list.

In addition, according to McAfee, rogue anti-virus business had been flourishing continuously. Scareware are spreading through corrupted results on search engines.

McAfee, thus, says that considering the fast growth in fake anti-virus business and the increasing use of blackhat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to poison search results, one only wonders what amount of threat infuses into the security community.

Related article: McAfee Alerts Windows about Accessibility Hole in Vista

» SPAMfighter News - 11/13/2009

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