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FIFA World Cup Causes Surge in Malicious Activities

Cisco ScanSafe SAAS Web security service revealed on June 18, 2010 that global Web traffic is up by an average of 27% in just a week since World Cup started.

With the increase in legitimate global traffic, there is obvious increase in the instances of Internet-borne malware, spam e-mail and general hacker activity. This surge is noted worldwide and is taking place in working hours.

However, the increase was found nearly 8% lower in the US, which is because soccer is not that popular in this part of the world as in the other.

The security experts commented that there is a general increase in the communication traffic of all kinds when something unusual or special happens, like the current event of FIFA World Cup in South Africa or the Gulf oil spill. This trend is applicable to e-mail, text messaging, Web searches, television, mobile phone usage, Web streaming video, etc.

Cisco computed that around 80.6 Billion spam e-mails were sent on June 11, 2010, the day the World Cup began. 257 Million messages of those that were sent every hour were based on World Cup. Consequently, the security firm estimated that over 3 Billion such spam messages were sent in total, constituting 4% of all global spam.

According to a Product Manager Mark Guntrip with Cisco's ScanSafe SAAS Web security service, the malware that is currently in circulation is more or less the same as that encountered on any other day, as per the news published by eWEEK.COM on June 18, 2010. He said that it's just a different packaging that is being used by the attackers - giving a malicious PDF the guise of a World Cup-themed PDF.

Another important difference is that targeted Web locations in this case, particularly those dealing with World Cup news as well as other current attractions, are likely to receive infected ads, noted Guntrip. It is noteworthy that the malware resides on the ads posted on the Web page offering bogus audio-visual software.

On a concluding note, security experts said that as the World Cup tournament progresses, malicious activity will only increase.

Related article: FBI’s ICCC Annual Report Discusses Fraudulent and Non-Fraudulent Complaints

» SPAMfighter News - 6/29/2010

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