Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010 Cybersecurity Malware Report

A Forbes 8/26/2010 briefing offers significant insights on current cybersecurity issues and warrants summarization (http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/25/cybersecurity-malware-spam-technology-symantec.html?partner=alerts):

1. In the first six months of 2010 an anti-virus firm created 1.8 million new malicious code signatures and identified 124 million distinct new malicious programs. Dependence on antivirus software that relies on the creation of signatures, or digital fingerprints, to identify threats cannot keep up with the current rate of malware creation. Malware is now able to morph its own code in real-time to evade antivirus software.

2. The popularity of social media is driving the increasing use of online URL-shortening services. Computer users are often unable to see the true locations where these hyperlinks are sending them, thus unsuspecting users can wander into a phishing scam or even malware infection. By April 2010, this number of such hyperlinks was 18% of spam.

3. Specialized malware is a rising threat, such as code that is designed to specifically compromise ATMs. Another example is Stuxnet, a Trojan horse that infects computers and seeks to steal SCADA-related documents.

4. In June 2010 Symantec tallied one in 387 Instant Messages containing some sort of hyperlink, and one in eight of those hyperlinks leading to malicious websites. Just as with links in e-mails and social networking messages, users should avoid clicking on links in Instant Messages.

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