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September Suffers Sky-high Phishing & Virus Attacks

Virus and phishing attacks reached mounting levels that were not seen since the early 2006, warned security experts.

A second attack of advanced emails aimed at senior management and executive-level is highlighted by the September report (PDF) of the MessageLabs Intelligence also.

Virus threat looms within all 48 emails. Now, hackers are discarding conventional attachment style distribution for links to Websites with malware code. Swelling nearly 15% this quarter in popularity, it allows attacks based on the social engineering techniques, like e-postcards, to be used.

As against the recent report findings from F-Secure, the report by MessageLabs has witnessed the phishing volumes increase in September 2007, accounting for 1 email phishing threat in every 87 emails.

Widespread access to phishing kits and 'rock' phishing techniques is to be blamed for this, with a single infected computer in a botnet hosting numerous phishing sites simultaneously.

Vnunet.com on September 27, 2007 reported Mark Sunner, Chief Security Analyst at MessageLabs, saying that the beginning of the new-school year brought increase to the threats of old-school in more number.

He also said that with entering into 2007's last quarter and drawing closer to holiday season, through indisputable well-wishing emails and rise in online shopping, the bad guys would be capable of disguising their attacks.

MessageLabs is of the view that increasing numbers of infected computers via dynamic botnet activity will elevate spam levels even higher. September figures confirm the active presence of highly targeted techniques too.

MessageLabs puts the number of the targeted senior management executives at 1,100 in a 12 September attack, and suspected it to be the work of the same culprits behind a similar one on June 26, 2007.

The highly refined emails claim to be from some recruitment firm and exploit a Microsoft flaw message to insist the user to click on a RTF attachment.

This overwhelming increase in highly targeted attacks was described by Paul Wood, a Senior Analyst at MessageLabs in a news report on Vnunet.com on September 27, 2007 as worrying since the methods that are used and the attacks' small scale make them extremely difficult to identify.

Related article: September Saw A 100% Rise In New Malware Threats

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