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August Finds New Additions to Malware

Security Firm Sophos conducted a Web poll in August only to add 1,998 new malware threats to its database taking the total number to 186,665. The survey found that majority of these threats consisted of Trojan horses (71.8%) and out of 335 business users, 55% apprehended rootkit infection on their computers in the coming days.

Ron O'Brien, senior security analyst, Sophos is of the opinion that most people did not know what a rootkit was and how they could prevent one. Therefore if a free Anti-Rootkit was available, it could instill awareness and protect businesses and PC users from such attacks.

According to the survey, one out of 278 e-mails were infected. This is, however, a decline as against one infected mail out of 50 in August 2005.. As per the report, 'Netsky-P' appears as the top malware in the month of August with 'Mytob-AS' featuring on the next position.

Senior security consultant at Sophos, Carol Theriault is surprised as how such easily curbed threats were still spreading through the e-mail traffic. In U.K. while there were regular media reports on the dangers of cyber crime and public were being educated about defending their PCs, some users just could not imagine being attacked. If users surf the Internet without taking proper security measures it could not only endanger their data but also keep nasty worms like Mytob and Netsky active and proliferating.

The top hoaxes and chain letters that spread in August were "Olympic Torch" and "Hotmail Hoax" followed by "Bonsai Kitten" and "Bud weiser frogs screensaver".

According to rival security firm McAfee the recent trojans do not replicate or infect other systems through malicious code. They do not spread slowly as worms usually do rather the trojans spurt out suddenly in large volumes and are short lived spam campaigns.

Through these trojans the spammers can reach a large number of Inboxes and have enough time before the anti-virus vendors can design new signatures to arrest them. spammers are replacing mass mailers with these spammed Trojans.

Unfortunately, majority of people who access the Internet regularly, do not have adequate protection against malware, which implies they are still unaware and unconcerned about IT security.

Related article: Australian Blogger Uses Spam To Boost Blog

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