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Percentage Decrease of 2.2% in Malicious Websites in February 2011

At the onset of February 2011, among 4098 new malicious websites blocked, a decrease of 2.2% compared against January 2011 was witnessed according to the latest Intelligence report by Symantec MessageLabs on March 01, 2011.

Also about 40 variants of malware related to Bredolab Trojan were detected during the same time resulting in at least 10.3% email-borne malware blocked by the company.

In several cyber attacks undertaken in February 2011, a unique modus operandi associated with these malware families were detected, which hinted towards a common base for all the infected emails.

Further, Paul Wood, Senior Analyst at MessageLabs Intelligence also proclaimed the legacy of this continual cyber attacks to be following more or less the same technique related to these malware families as highlighted in SYS.CON MEDIA on March 01, 2011. The practice operated by the cyber crooks in this massive attack is to follow a specific theme dedicatedly for a specific period of time. For instance, one day of online attack is dedicatedly targeted towards assaulting Zeus variants and the other day perhaps towards disbursing SpyEye variants.

However, though the majority of online attacks were related to Zeus and SpyEye, much of the attacks also shared commonalities similar to Bredolab Trojan, sharing significant features used by Zeus and SpyEye.

The mostly blocked malware during the month of February 2011 was the W32.Sality.AE virus according to the report. This online malware attack approach is to affect executable files downloaded from the internet and installing it on the compromised system.

PDF file format accounted for being the most popular amongst frequently used malicious executable files during 2010. At present, PDF exploits tops being the largest file format in spreading malware, reported Symantec. Further, 52.6% of the targeted attacks in 2009 used PDF exploits compared to 65% in 2010, an increase of 12.4%.

Even though in totality, cyber exploits till March 2011 shows a downturn, but if the trend continues functioning in the similar manner as in 2010, by mid-2011, a 76% of targeted malware is expected to use PDF-based attacks.

Taking into consideration the aforementioned facts, PDF-based cyber attacks are estimated to stay for sometime and is projected to worsen with time as spam writers are pursuing innovative ways in implementing and disbursing spam, according to Wood.

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