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Malware & Spam Plagued Internet Most in 2007

Malware growing 16 times more and spam proliferating vigorously accounted for the greatest two security problems on the Internet last year in 2007, according to a year-end report by Computer Associates (CA), a management software supplier.

Some CA predictions suggest that in 2008, online criminals will use smarter malware to attack virtualized computers causing greater destruction to users of Microsoft's Vista. Further, targeted attacks would better victimize Web 2.0 websites. And botnets would take over more PCs as never before. CA also said that attackers would exploit the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the US presidential elections as major opportunities for online information theft and fraud attacks. Computerworlduk reported it on January 9, 2008.

CA writes that users have been encountering difficulty in detecting spam, for the excellence of spam has considerably improved turning away from typical types. They now carry attachments like documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, images or videos that contain malware or link leading to malicious websites.

CA's report said that malware has noticeably grown during January to October 2007, with spam aiding in abundance. The past year had seen an overall spam of 90% among total e-mail and 8 in ten spam mails had malware or link to malicious sites. Also, the kind of malicious code changed to other varieties. There was a greater amount of spyware at 56% of all malware and they surpassed Trojans. Worms accounted for 9% of all malware and viruses represented 2%. A major target for malware was the UK accompanied with Germany, France and Australia. However, the United States was the most affected country that received 40% spam.

The report also highlights adware, downloaders and trojans as the most commonly found spyware in 2007. But counterfeit security software, such as anti-spyware software distributed over the Internet for free, also caused a problem.

A similar report that Commtouch released in early 2008 notes that botnets were highly prevalent in 2007 with sophisticated P2P (Peer-to-Peer) networks that fought back any attempts to bring them down, and which vigorously avoided blacklisting. The most destructive botnet was the Storm Worm that pushed out malware, spam, phishing and DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

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