Attacks/Breaches
10/15/2010
01:31 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Phishing Attacks Rise Sharply But Spam Emails Decline

Automated botnet toolkits drive website security breaches, with social networks hit hard, Symantec report reveals.

Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, Local Pain
Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, Local Pain
(click image for larger view and for full slideshow)
Phishing attacks have risen sharply even though spam has declined to its lowest level since 2008, a new report reveals.

For September 2010, spam comprised 89.4% of all email, down from 92.5% in August, according to a new report from Symantec. The September total was the lowest level since 2008, when rogue ISP McColo was shut down. Phishing jumped by 52% in September from the month before.

"This [phishing increase] was primarily due to an increase in both automated toolkit attacks and unique phishing websites," said Symantec. Meanwhile, the number of phishing websites -- generated by automatic toolkits -- increased by 46%, unique URLs increased by 83% and phishing websites with all-numeric IP domains -- such as http://255.255.255.255 -- rose by roughly 35%.

One possible explanation for the decline in spam is "the shutdown of spamit.com," as well as the recent string of Zeus arrests made by the FBI and law enforcement agencies abroad.

However, Symantec warned that "if the aftermath of the McColo shutdown is any indication, the volume should gradually return over time." Security experts believe that at its peak, McColo was serving 75% of the world's spam.

Interestingly, Symantec also found that phishing attacks via social networks are rising, with a 38% jump in September from August. Just 79 free website hosting services accounted for 83% of all such attacks, while the others were hosted on websites with newly registered domain names or legitimate domains that had been compromised.

Another frequent scam involved using "typosquat" websites -- domain names with slight misspellings snapped up by attackers and primed to infect any PC that visits via drive-by downloads.

The most-used phishing schemes involved fake prize redemption, poker, porn -- "stating that free pornography is available for viewing upon entering login information” -- or free cell phone airtime.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3345
Published: 2014-08-28
The web framework in Cisco Transport Gateway for Smart Call Home (aka TG-SCH or Transport Gateway Installation Software) 4.0 does not properly check authorization for administrative web pages, which allows remote attackers to modify the product via a crafted URL, aka Bug ID CSCuq31503.

CVE-2014-3347
Published: 2014-08-28
Cisco IOS 15.1(4)M2 on Cisco 1800 ISR devices, when the ISDN Basic Rate Interface is enabled, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device hang) by leveraging knowledge of the ISDN phone number to trigger an interrupt timer collision during entropy collection, leading to an invalid s...

CVE-2014-4199
Published: 2014-08-28
vm-support 0.88 in VMware Tools, as distributed with VMware Workstation through 10.0.3 and other products, allows local users to write to arbitrary files via a symlink attack on a file in /tmp.

CVE-2014-4200
Published: 2014-08-28
vm-support 0.88 in VMware Tools, as distributed with VMware Workstation through 10.0.3 and other products, uses 0644 permissions for the vm-support archive, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by extracting files from this archive.

CVE-2014-0761
Published: 2014-08-27
The DNP3 driver in CG Automation ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop or process crash) via a crafted TCP packet.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.