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Spam Declined but Other Modes of Cyberattacks Surged During Q1-2011

Recently, Cisco's "Global Threat Report" for the first quarter of 2011 was released. The report revealed that, while the shutdown of botnets, like Rustock has helped to decrease the overall spam volumes and activities, other networks and areas have started picking up the pace in terms of spam levels.

Commenting on this matter, Mary Landesman, Senior Security Researcher at Cisco stated that, what thumped her was the variation of the tide in terms of spam. She stated that, they as a part of the industry have been taking down several botnets, and it nearly becomes less regarding temporary spam level declines and more regarding eradicating this from specific nations and then witnessing a rise in other nations, as reported by v3 on May 19, 2011.

Besides spam activities and botnets, the recent report by Cisco provides information on SQL injection attacks that were noticed during Q1-2011.

The report highlighted that, the Lizamoon series of SQL injection attacks, which got a wholesome attention during the first quarter of 2011, was less dangerous than was initially believed to be. Cisco highlighted that, both the definite numbers of hacked websites and the live encounter rates were far less than the originally reported, as reported by Silicon Republic on May 19, 2011. Cisco stated that, its figures displayed that only around 1000 websites were actually hacked and live encounters were just a small fraction of the total malware found during the first quarter of 2011.

Further, besides the above mentioned tactics of attacks, the latest report also presents information on phishers and phishing activities during the first quarter of 2011.

The report revealed that, though they represent a comparatively small share of the overall spam volume, phishing attacks pose a severe threat to security, from both a monetary and private information revelation viewpoint.

During Q1-2011, attackers progressively shifted their attention towards phishing Twitter accounts. This importance for Twitter credentials is probably due in part to Twitter users' recognition of shortened URLs. By hacking Twitter accounts, criminals can utilize advantage of shortened URLs to lure and directing followers to malicious links. The report also highlighted that, such attacks are further propelled by the trust caused by the social networking in general.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

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