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Malware Dissemination Continues Via Breaking News Topics during Q3-2013; Commtouch

Commtouch has just published a report titled "Q3 Internet Threats Trend Report" that discusses a malware distribution style during Q3-2013 (third quarter) that was already prevalent during the months January-June 2013. This one is leveraging breaking news events that are perhaps adapted quickly in a semi-automatic manner thus referring to the campaigns as 'real-time malware schemes.'

In July end, one such campaign was unleashed surrounding Prince George the infant arriving in the royal family. In just hours since it became public of the new member, cyber-criminals executed malware campaigns that capitalized on the massive enthusiasm. Between 23rd and 24th July (Tuesday-Wednesday), security researchers at Commtouch noted 8 drive-by malware outbreaks that were captioned "The Royal Baby: Live updates." Nearly a third of all spam mails got distributed from compromised PCs (called zombies) within US ahead of Peru and Chile respectively.

Soon following the 'Royal Baby' e-mail outbreaks; quite likewise messages appeared with headlines "Snowden able to leave Moscow airport-BreakingNews CNN" that highlighted news surrounding Edward Snowden the whistleblower. The mentioned spam mails offered exclusive news regarding National Security Agency's Snowden with respect to his asylum status.

Furthermore, according to the security company Commtouch, common brands in phishing like PayPal came up routinely during the quarter that alone was behind 750 fresh phishing Internet sites on a single day.

Moreover, junk e-mails during Q3-2013, averaged at 69bn e-mails per day among which 2bn delivered malicious software through directly added attachments.

Fascinatingly, diet products were the most frequently used subjects in spam outbreaks contributing 40% in total spam, while stock spam followed at 20%.

Additionally, spam distribution based on geographies in Q3-2013 had Belarus leading with 6.7% followed with US (6.4%) and India (6.2%). Currently, the first position among the countries with the highest e-mail junk goes to India although separately its share declined a third, while Russia climbed to the second from its earlier No. 8.

And remarking about the report's discoveries, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) Lior Kohavi from Commtouch stated that they outlined the cyber crooks' assaults whose complexity was rising. Darkreading.com published this in news on November 11, 2013.

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