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Fortinet Revealed Major Internet Threats for February 2009

Network security vendor Fortinet released its February 2009 Threatscape Report, according to which, emerging botnet activities posed the major Internet threat during February 2009.

Reportedly, Waledac, a botnet active for a long period, applied a Valentine's Day themed campaign against Internet surfers to trick them into downloading an executable that contained the malicious Waledac malware. The campaign utilized different domain and sub-domain names as well as registrars. As of the 1st week of March 2009, it continued its activity but with yet another theme.

Moreover, spam levels reached a peak of 55% during February 2009, slightly down since January 2009, but nowhere close to the dip observed in late 2008. Evaluating the spam figures of January-February 2009, the security analysts said that it was the second time when spam levels showed stable volume compared to the earlier periods. It, however, is not encouraging since security companies are constantly fighting the most recent spamming botnets expecting spam volumes to fall.

Besides, the report stated that the level of malware activity remained same as in January 2009 with no fresh malicious codes added to the Top Ten Threat List for January-February 2009. The country displaying the most malware activity was the USA accounting for 51.07% of global activity, while other countries - Japan (42.11%), China (22.26%), India (21.62%) and Canada (19.91%) represented the remaining of the top five countries showing malware activity.

The report further indicated that new security flaws increased almost three times, with 117 flaws identified in February compared to 43 in January 2009. Of these 117 flaws, 25.6% were actively exploited. Also, two fresh sophisticated zero-day attack codes affecting Adobe Reader and MS Excel were reported in the month.

Furthermore, e-mail scams around the ongoing economic downturn continued to circulate in February 2009. They offered low debt on credit card while providing a malicious web link connecting to a phishing website.

Thus, based on all the above observations, the security specialists emphasized that the current time was the most appropriate to ensure proper patch management along with effective security to combat the malicious threats.

Related article: Fortinet Pinpoints Ten Biggest Threats

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