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Symantec - Ransomware Most Harmful Threat in 2009

Symantec, an Internet security company, pointed out a few leading cyber crimes of 2009 during the end week of December 2009.

The company reported that the most harmful of all malicious software was 'ransomware.' Attack with this relies on scare tactics just like fake antivirus software in a bid to hold victims at ransom.

A sample of ransomware in 2009 was Trojan.Ransompage. This Trojan might be installed with the help of other malicious programs or from malware laden websites. Furthermore, the program is capable of modifying or deleting files and directories. It exhibits a graphic on browsers previously selected. Following this, the Trojan demands a ransom through a message in Russian language.

Another aspect of malware attack against social-networking websites was exhibited through the Koobface worm, as per Symantec. The worm automatically attaches to the profile of the victim and shows web-links leading to malevolent sites. These sites canvass video codecs that are in reality the Koobface variants. They also drop the malware devoid of any notice to the visitors. Incidentally, it's been a year when the first detection of Koobface was made, still the virus and its controllers continue to be extremely active and up-to-date.

In 2009, Symantec identified vulnerability that led to cyber criminals' deception. A rise in spam has been observed that present gift vouchers for buying airline tickets or just inexpensive plane tickets. Spam mails continue to arrive from fake e-mail addresses, while they directly reach people's inboxes.

Additionally, Symantec highlights that celebrity deaths too were exploited. Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMohan, famous international personalities who died during 2009, had been key targets of malware writers and spammers. Celebrity spam also emerged when Natasha Richardson and Patrick Swayze died.

But the celebrity who was most targeted was Michael Jackson. Spam related to the star accounted for almost 2% of the entire e-mail spam. Thus, while people worldwide mourned the demises of the famous figures, cyber criminals were truly busy.

Finally, Symantec states that in 2010, spammers will be especially active and botnets will send out most of the junk.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

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