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It's a Malware World - Malware at an All-time High According to Latest McAfee Threat Report

McAfee Threat Report - Malware Dominates The Threat Landscape

McAfee has released its 'McAfee Threats Report: Second Quarter 2010' threat analysis report, showing that malware is at an all-time high but that spam has shown slow growth figures when compared to the first quarter of 2010.

According to the report, volumes of spam circulating on the internet increased by merely 2.5 percent as compared to Q1'10, after reaching its highest of 175 billion spam emails a day in the third quarter of 2009.

The report informs that spam still accounted for 88 percent of emails sent on the Internet. Meanwhile, spam emails referring to 'Canadian pharmacy' websites continued to be on the top of the list of spam messages being sent from infected systems. Additionally, 63 percent of spam messages were health-related while only 10 percent were credited to generic spam messages. Phishing emails on the other hand, accounted for only 2 percent of spam emails, but registered an overall growth of 81 percent when compared to last year.

The FIFA World Cup this year has also acted as a breeding ground for spam messages that contained malware attachments and redirected users to websites that are laden with malicious content. The report went on to highlight the example of a cyber scam that attacked Brazilian football fans, prompting them to download a malicious file with the promise to show a video showing former coach of the national football team fighting with two unruly fans.

Spam email messages containing malware have been on a rise in countries such as Columbia, India, Russian and Vietnam, while users in United States, Italy, Spain, China and Great Britain have been targeted with fake delivery messages and non-delivery receipt email scams.

The report highlights the alarming rise of malware during the first half of 2010, with the company discovering and cataloging 10 million new malware samples since the year began. The most common type of malware, AutoRun malware, which spreads via USB dongles and portable storage devices was on a rise, while malware spreading from fake anti-virus software registered a slower growth rate as compared to last year. Sophos, in its mid year 2010 threat report, says it receives an average of 60,000 new samples of malware each day - about one piece every 1.4 seconds.

The McAfee report also warned that popular social networking platforms, such as Facebook, continued to be the favored hunting ground for hackers looking to install malware on systems of unsuspecting users. McAfee said that Kobeface, a malware specifically designed to target Facebook users, continued to wreak havoc on the platform.

The full report can be downloaded at:

http://www.mcafee.com/us/local_content/reports/q22010_threats_report_en.pdf

Related Reading: Report Reveals Cybercrime Trends, Thoughts on Cyberwarfare and Threat Predictions

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