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Malware Levels Up in 2009, Proving Symantec’s Prediction True

Security firm Symantec, on an average, blocks in excess of 245 Million malicious attacks throughout the world every month, most of them comprise of online threats that have never been seen earlier.

One of the key predictions made by the firm in December 2008, regarding the security trends that would evolve in 2009, was the outburst of new variants of malware.

Majority of attacks that Symantec blocks are targeted on users who visit authentic websites already infected by cyber criminals, so as to redirect users to sites serving malicious content. One such sort of infection is the drive-by downloads that allows malicious code to be downloaded onto a users' PC without their consent.

The security firm had also predicted about the impact of economic crunch on security trends in addition to predictions regarding the increased spam volume as well as advanced web threats. Now the firm's predictions are turning out true by large.

As per the security experts, worldwide economic crisis resulted in malware variations that would target job offers and classifieds in some conjured schemes like "work at home". 2009 has witnessed cyber crooks preying on people having their homes foreclosed or looking for refinancing. Besides this, several scams abusing the US stimulus package have also appeared during the year.

Social networking websites, like Facebook and Twitter, are facing increasing attacks by phishers, as per Symantec's prediction. To support its view point, it refers to a latest and well-known set of attacks on a famous networking site, wherein phishers used the compromised account of a user as a launch-pad for targeting his/her friends.

The firm has also anticipated the spam levels to surge back to nearly 75% to 80%. Spam volume averaged 90% of all the e-mail messages in June 2009, with spammers using current events like the death of the King of Pop (Michael Jackson), the Italian earthquake and the outbreak of H1N1 flu.

However, a positive security trend that had not been predicted by the firm is the evolution of industry cooperation. Formation of the Conficker Working Group was announced in February 2009 that included many academia and technology spearheads. This group is aimed to employ a global and coordinated response against the Conficker worm.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

» SPAMfighter News - 9/16/2009

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