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Spotlight on Cyber-crime

Ever wanted to know a bit more about cyber-crime and cyber-criminals? PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory has recently published an infographic which offers us some useful insights into this criminal activity and presents some interesting facts.

 
Did you know, for example, that more than 31% of computers worldwide are infected with malware?
Predictably, too, the squeaky clean Swiss top the list of countries with the least infections as opposed to South Korea which seems to be experiencing the most infections. Naturally,and NOT coincidentally, the least infected countries are also those that tend to be the most technologically advanced!

 
The android mobile platform remains vulnerable to attack as do social networks which attract criminals intent on stealing personal information. Smug Mac users, too, should lift their heads out of the sand and recognise that they are no longer exempt from attacks. Not too long ago, the Flashback Trojan successfully infiltrated 600 000 Macs.
Fortunately, Panda Security is on hand to help you protect your system. It’s imperative always to have an up-to-date antivirus program in place and to ensure that your operating system and software are always kept up to date.

 
Cyber-crime infographic

50% of PC’s worldwide infected this January

-       According to data gathered by the free online antivirus Panda ActiveScan, 50% of scanned computers were infected with malware, mostly Trojans

According to Global IT vendor Panda Security, 50% of all computers scanned around the globe in January were infected with some kind of malware. This data was gathered from Panda’s free online antivirus  Panda ActiveScan. As for the most damaging malware threat, Trojans caused the most incidents (59% of all cases), followed by traditional viruses (12%) and worms (9%).

The list of most prevalent malware threats is topped by generic Trojans, followed by down-loaders, exploits and adware. It is also worth mentioning the presence of Lineage, an old Trojan that continues to spread and infect systems.

Thailand, China, Taiwan, Russia and Turkey occupy the top positions in the ranking of countries with the largest number of infections (over 50% of scanned computers infected with malware), while other traditional ‘malware paradises’ like Brazil or Poland have slipped down the list this month.

“We don’t see many significant changes regarding the number of worldwide infections from month to month”, says Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs. “This just reflects the reality of the current situation: Every day we receive some 61,000 new malware samples at our laboratory, and unless you have a solution like Panda Cloud Antivirus whose latest protection technologies provide near real-time protection, it takes too long for traditional solutions to incorporate new malware signatures. This lapse in time leaves users unprotected against new threats”.

“While South Africa doesn’t occupy the top positions with regards to infections, we are seeing a steady increase in the amount of malware aimed at African users”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “This malware usually takes the form of money related scams, targeted at new or inexperienced internet users”, he concludes.

More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/

Follow Panda South Africa on Twitter @PandaSecurityZA and Facebook

Trojans 70% of new malware detected

Trojans accounted for 70% of all new malware between April and June 2009, according to data compiled in the latest PandaLabs Quarterly Report.

Trojans were also responsible for more infections than any other type of malware over this period. This type of malware was behind 34.37% of all infections detected by Panda, an increase of 2.86% with respect to the previous quarter. Adware infection levels remained stable, accounting for 19.62% of the total.

One of the most notable findings of the report is the 6.25% drop in spyware, which now represents just 6.9% of all new malware. In contrast, adware rose dramatically over this period, from 7.54% in the previous quarter to 16.37%. This is largely due to the surge in fake antivirus applications, a type of adware that passes itself off as a legitimate security solution.

As for worms, their percentage has also risen slightly, now accounting for 4.4% of all malware. Dialers, at 4.48%, stubbornly refused to disappear despite the overriding trend for broadband instead of dial-up connections.

In terms of specific strains of malware, the number one ranked specimen in Q2 was Downloader.MDW, a Trojan designed to download other malware on to computers. The Virtumonde spyware and Rebooter.J Trojan were also among the malicious codes that caused most infections.

Malicious use of Twitter

A worm appeared in April which used a cross-site scripting technique to infect Twitter users when they visited the profiles of other infected users. It then infected the new user’s profile to continue propagating. New variants appeared, and finally the creator’s identity was revealed: one Mikey Mooney, who apparently wanted to attract users to a service competing with Twitter.

In early June, Twitter was the focus of other attacks, this time using different techniques, above all BlackHat SEO. Twitter has a feature called “Trending Topics”, which is a list of the most popular topics that appears in the interface of all Twitter users. When users select a topic through this feature, they will see all ‘tweets’ published related to this issue.

In this case, malicious users were writing tweets about the topics listed in Twitter Trends with links to malicious Web pages from which malware was downloaded. The first attack focused on just one of the topics, but just a few days later the scope of the attack increased and all popular topics contained malicious links. When the actor David Carradine died, in just a few hours there were hundreds of malicious tweets, and the same occurred with other popular issues on Twitter.

You can download the PandaLabs Quarterly Report here.