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Christmas/New Year Witnesses an Increase in Themed Malware Attacks

In its monthly report for 2010, security firm, GFI Software claimed that the latest analysis of New Year and Christmas malware attacks seems to reflect that hackers took advantage of the holiday season to conduct a series of themed attacks, as reported by infosecurity on January 11, 2011.

These attacks witnessed users being attacked with numerous infected emails, web hyperlinks and several other delivery techniques offering festive details, Christmas e-cards, discount offers, and free software.

Further, December 2010 also witnessed the release of the movie, Disney's Tron Legacy. The movie was also attacked by several search engine infected hyperlinks, unnecessary installs, and other fake malicious software, whilst a series of bogus iTunes e-mails caught numerous people off guard, leading users falling foul of a harmful script that utilized advantage of an identified Java exploit.

GFI states that their research team revealed an Amazon receipt generator scam targeted at tricking retailers in the hectic festive season into honoring forged receipts.

Moreover, December 2010 again witnessed important activity from computer Trojans, which still rule the general malware backdrop. Of the ten most prominent detections, seven detections were identified as computer Trojans. Further, those seven estimated for around 35% of total malware detections for December 2010.

Besides computer Trojans, computer worms also posed considerable problems in December 2010. Most important was Worm.Win32.Downad.Gen (v), ranking seven at the December's top 10, detection for the Downadup worm, generally called as Conficker and Kido.

Communications and Research Analyst at GFI Software, Tom Kelchner, stated that after the augmented themed threat traffic in November 2010 around Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, hackers again tried to utilize advantage of the festive season by launching themed attacks made to direct users towards malware ridden sites and to cheat them into following poisoned mail and executables, as reported by sourcewire on January 10, 2011.

Kelchner added that, themed attacks, themed SEO infections, and bogus application installs are some of the strong ways for malware authors to circulate malware creator and disrupt companies and families.

He concluded by saying that, the list of top 10 (malware) is acting like a severe reminder that IT security should not be taken lightly and all necessary measures should be immediately taken to stop such attacks.

Related article: Christmas Spam Most For Aussies

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