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June Predictions Include New Storm Variants, More Spam and Phishing

MXLogic warns that in June 2008, new variants of the Storm Worm are likely to surface as e-cards, to coincide with Father's Day. There might also be a slight increase in the overall phishing schemes and spam levels.

In percentage proportion of all e-mail, spam might be at around 90% in June 2008. Also, Web threats and blended e-mails related to the Chinese earthquake relief initiatives or gas prices would continue to be popular, but would start to fall around the month's end.

In addition, e-mail scam related to the US economic stimulus program and government tax refunds would also continue to be a popular ploy of spammers to get unwitting recipients to visit maliciously crafted Websites for collection of personal information.

Thus, according to the Researchers at MXLogic, although May 2008 saw a 15% decline in general spam levels, in June 2008, this is likely to stay high or grow slightly. Historically, a decline in spam levels is short-lived and followed by a typical increase.

Also, apart from Storm variants, late May 2008 showed preliminaries of a wider attack. However, this spam wasn't malicious unlike a typical spam that contain malicious code.

Gartner's Vice-President and Distinguished Analyst, Avivah Litan, said that the new spamming trends include volumes of spam mail and phishing message that keep on rising, as reported by SecureComputing on June 6, 2008.

Litan further said that in spite of temporary declines as evident from the spam volumes in May 2008, trojans and worm mutants continue to remain in the wild as a growing threat. A strong demand for anti-malware technology based on new malware behavior is felt but effective solutions are rare.

Meantime, there are strong clues suggesting that end-users' desktops are a fast growing attack medium for cyber criminals to spread malware. Also, social engineering techniques continue to pose as a massive threat to all consumers and businesses.

However, researchers said in the end that solutions do exist such as a powerful mutual authentication system, but for that a superior retooling along with 'securitization' of the exposed Internet infrastructure is essential.

Related article: June Spam Returned to a Peak, Said SoftScan

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