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Online Crooks Enhance Efficacy With Blended Assaults

Commtouch, an online security company, recently published its "Internet Threats Trend Report for Q2-2010" according to which the efficacy of cyber criminals to reach individual targets have been growing with the creation of multi-stage or blended attacks that merge Web components and messaging.

Asaf Greiner, Commtouch Vice-President, Products, said that as detection mechanisms improved, cyber criminals had been forced to change their tactics for evasion, as reported by Marketwatch on July 13, 2010. Greiner added that online crooks now increasingly preferred complicated multi-stage assaults using enhanced social engineering.

According to the security company, spam accounted for a mean 82% of the entire e-mail messages during Q1-2010. The rate fell to 71% in May 2010 and touched the peak 92% towards the end of June 2010. The report states that these figures are a little less compared to those computed for Q1-2010 and are equivalent to a mean of 179 Billion spam mails on a single day.

As per the report, there was worldwide coverage of cancelled air flights during April 2010 when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in Iceland. Spam combined topics on volcano and random words generated automatically, the report states.

A favorite spam mail subject was Apple since there had been a million sales of iPad during May 2010, with the iPhone 4 launch during June 2010. The e-mail on iPhone 4 enticed users to click on several associate marketing web-links, which attack users having American IP addresses. Consequently, many unwary end-users expecting to get an iPhone 4 for free might have provided their private information, endangering themselves with ID theft. IP addresses other than of USA, meanwhile, were led to a website associated with a lottery fraud.

Commtouch revealed that a mean 307,000 zombie PCs were turned on daily during Q2-2010 that was slightly more than that of Q1-2010. As per the report, India has overtaken Brazil in producing the maximum number of zombies (13% of all worldwide).

Lastly, in Q2-2010, Yahoo and Gmail retained their top positions in terms of allowing most hoax domains that distributed malicious e-mails, the report highlights.

Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin

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