Risk
1/19/2011
12:54 PM
50%
50%

Malware Volume Doubled In 2010

A new threat appears more than once each second, as attackers increasingly turn their attention to social networks, reported Sophos.

Top 10 Security Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Security Stories Of 2010

New malware appears, on average, once every 0.9 seconds. For 2010, 95,000 unique pieces of malware in total appeared, doubling the volume of malware seen in 2009. Those findings come from the Sophos Security Threat Report 2011, released Wednesday.

Attackers are also increasingly focusing their efforts on social networks. Sophos said that in 2010, 40% of social networking users received malware via social media sites, up from 36% in 2009. In the same timeframe, the number of people who received spam via social networks increased by 57% to 67%, while the number of people who experienced a phishing attack increased from 30% to 43%.

The report also noted that the United States continues to lead the world in spam relaying. Currently, 16% of all spam emails originate in the United States. But other countries have seen their spam production increase, most notably the United Kingdom and France, which each relay 4% of the world's spam volume.

The increased volume from those countries could reflect an increased number of Web-based attacks that are focusing on exploiting PCs in more affluent countries. "We saw a significant drop in spam from South America -- a 7% drop, that is actually quite significant," said Beth Jones, a senior threat researcher at SophosLabs in Boston. "Or perhaps the partnerka -- the Russian mafia -- is expanding its reach, because obviously China has been cracking down there."

Jones said that with today's malware volume, writing one-to-one detection signatures would be impossible for any company to accomplish. "Can you imagine the data bloat?" she said. Accordingly, security vendors are focusing on more proactive detection mechanisms.

In light of today's top threats, one proactive step that organizations can take to improve their security is to address social networking usage through acceptable use policies or instituting some access restrictions, said Jones. "We're seeing so much more malware and phishing attempts with social media, and we're seeing a lot of concern with businesses, but we're not seeing businesses restrict user access, which is surprising," she said, "because if I was a corporation, I'd be far more concerned with data loss than with a malware incident."

Her reasoning: Given the prevalence of firewalls and antivirus software, most malware today stands a good chance of being spotted. But not a data leakage -- inadvertent or otherwise. "Data loss is a much bigger issue, because if customer information gets leaked, look what happened to Gawker. What happens to your business?"

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2382
Published: 2014-11-20
The DfDiskLo.sys driver in Faronics Deep Freeze Standard and Enterprise 8.10 and earlier allows local administrators to cause a denial of service (crash) and execute arbitrary code via a crafted IOCTL request that writes to arbitrary memory locations, related to the IofCallDriver function.

CVE-2014-3625
Published: 2014-11-20
Directory traversal vulnerability in Pivitol Spring Framework 3.0.4 through 3.2.x before 3.2.12, 4.0.x before 4.0.8, and 4.1.x before 4.1.2 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via unspecified vectors, related to static resource handling.

CVE-2014-8387
Published: 2014-11-20
cgi/utility.cgi in Advantech EKI-6340 2.05 Wi-Fi Mesh Access Point allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in the pinghost parameter to ping.cgi.

CVE-2014-8493
Published: 2014-11-20
ZTE ZXHN H108L with firmware 4.0.0d_ZRQ_GR4 allows remote attackers to modify the CWMP configuration via a crafted request to Forms/access_cwmp_1.

CVE-2014-8767
Published: 2014-11-20
Integer underflow in the olsr_print function in tcpdump 3.9.6 through 4.6.2, when in verbose mode, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a crafted length value in an OLSR frame.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?