- The malware distribution techniques in the spotlight this quarter include clickjacking, BlackHat SEO and 0-day attacks
- 95% of all email in circulation was spam, and 55% of global spam originated from just 10 countries
- Android smart phones are being targeted by hackers, thanks to their widespread popularity
Global IT vendor Panda Security has published its quarterly report on global virus activity. This third quarter has once again seen Trojans in the spotlight, as 55% of all new threats created were in this category.
Infection via email, traditionally the most popular vector for spreading malware, has declined in favour of more modern methods: use of social media, such as the clickjacking attacks using the Facebook “Like” button, fake Web pages positioned on search engines (BlackHat SEO) and exploits of 0-day vulnerabilities.
In addition, Google’s Android operating system for smart phones has come into the line of fire. Various threats have appeared recently, aimed above all at racking up phone bills or targeting the geolocalization function of the terminals.
55% of new threats created this quarter were Trojans, most of them banker Trojans. This is in line with the general increase in these types of threats that Panda has witnessed over the last two years.
With respect to spam, 95% of all email circulating across the Internet during the last quarter was junk mail. Some 50% of all spam was sent from just ten countries, with India, Brazil and Russia at the top of the list.
“This edition of the report highlights the record levels of threat distribution through new channels”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations.
There has also been much talk of two serious 0-day flaws in the code of Microsoft’s operating system. One of these could have been exploited to attack SCADA systems (specifically, nuclear power stations), although this rumor is yet to be confirmed.
On a more positive note, Panda is happy to report the arrest of the creator of the Butterfly botnet kit, source of the notorious Mariposa network that impacted 13 million computers around the world.
Android: in the firing line of hackers
Over these three months Panda has also witnessed what could be the beginning of a wave of threats targeting smart phones, as it seemed that hackers have started lining up Android, Google’s popular operating system. Two applications have been developed specifically for this platform: FakePlayer, which under the guise of a video player, sends SMS messages generating a hefty phone bill for victims without their knowledge; and TapSnake, an app disguised as a game which sends the geolocalization coordinates of the user to an espionage company.
‘With the rise in social networking attacks and banker Trojans, we encourage users to always be vigilant when using the web, for personal or professional reasons. This coupled with good malware and virus protection, like Panda’s, is the best way to stay safe’, concludes Matthews.
You can download the PandaLabs quarterly report from http://press.pandasecurity.com/press-room/panda-white-paper/
For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.