CA Report: Fake Security Software, Search Engines, Social Networks 2009's Top Internet ThreatsCA security researchers also offer predictions for the top Internet threats for 2010
ISLANDIA, N.Y., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The latest State of the
Internet 2009report issued today by CA, Inc. (Nasdaq: CA) states that the most
notable 2009 online threats were rogue/fake security software, major search
engines, social networks and Web 2.0 threats. The report, based on data compiled
by CA's Global Security Advisor researchers, compiles trends from the first half
of 2009. CA security researchers also offer predictions for the top Internet
threats for 2010, including an increase in "malvertising" and the potential for
another big computer worm outbreak like Conficker.
"Cybercriminals have made a business out of conducting attacks on the most
popular online destinations because they promise the highest payoff," said Don
DeBolt, director of threat research for CA's Internet Security Business Unit.
"Cybercriminals keep up with trends, major events, holidays, and the like, and
focus on where they'll get the biggest returns. Search engines, like Google and
Yahoo, or social networking sites, like Twitter or Facebook, have the mass
appeal to attract these criminals. In addition to Internet security software,
the best weapon against today's threats is education, so that consumers know
what to look for when they are conducting activities online."
CA researchers tracked the following trends in 2009:
-- Rogue or Fake Security Software: Software that poses as legitimate
Internet security software but is actually malware has experienced a
significant surge in popularity. In the first half of 2009, CA added
detection for 1,186 new variants of Rogue security software, which is a
40% increase compared to the last half of 2008.
-- Search Index Poisoning: Google is a frequent target of online threats.
Attackers employ sophisticated search engine optimizations to manipulate
search engine rankings and poison users' search results, which direct
them to compromised Web sites that can cause malware infections.
-- Social Networks/Web 2.0: Popular online communities, blogs and social
media sites, such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, are highly
targeted. Financially motivated organized groups are among the
aggressive attackers, creating hundreds of bogus profiles to perform
various tasks, including distributing malware, spamming and stealing
users' online identities to perpetrate further cybercrime.
Win32/Koobface is an example of a worm propagating through social
networking sites. It uses the affected user's login credentials to send
messages to the user's list of connected friends and family. In 2009, CA
ISBU discovered more than 100 components and mutated strains belonging
to the Win32/Koobface family.
-- Identity Theft: Attacks targeting online credentials allowed attackers
to distribute further cybercriminal activities, such as email address
harvesting for Spam bots, sweeping FTP accounts for web infection and
attributing to social network worm propagation, like Win32/Koobface.
Stealing Trojans accounted for 23% of the most prevalent malware
infections in 2009.
-- Cybersquatting and typosquatting: Malicious Web sites that masquerade as
legitimate, reputable sites deceive users into undertaking transactions
or activities in which they divulge sensitive data.
-- Mac OS X Threats: Security threats have come to the Mac. In 2009, CA
ISBU has added 15 intelligent signatures detecting Mac OS X threats. The
most prevalent being OSX/Jahlav.
"Malware doubled in 2009 and the ability to purchase bots and other malicious
programs online is becoming more prevalent," DeBolt continued. "It is a cat and
mouse game. Cybercriminals are evolving along with the malware community and are
constantly looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit, from online banking to
search index poisoning."
While spam and phishing scams are still on the rise, the breakdown for how
malware was distributed in 2009 was dominated by the Internet at 78 percent,
followed by email (via attachments or phishing) at 17 percent, and finally
removable media (such as USB drives, digital photo frames, etc.) with 5 percent.
CA forward looking online security predictions for 2010:
1. Search engine optimization exploits and malicious advertising
(Malvertising) will increase as a means to distribute Malware.
2. Another big computer worm like Conficker is likely. The increasing
popularity of web-based applications and discovery of critical zero-day
vulnerabilities, especially for new operating systems such as Windows 7 and
Google Chrome, present good opportunities for a new worm outbreak.
3. Threats to Web 2.0 technologies such as social networks will continue to
4. Denial-of-Service attacks will increase in popularity as a means to make a
political statement. Popular websites like Twitter and Facebook are likely
to fall victim once again.
5. Banking Trojans: These Trojans manifest as banking-related threats
orchestrated to steal users' identities for financial gain.
6. Malware actors will focus on the 64 bit and Apple platform.
About the CA 2009 State of the Internet Security Report
The CA 2009 State of Internet Security report is intended to inform consumers
and businesses of the newest and most dangerous Internet threats, forecast
trends and provide practical advice for protection. The analysis provided is
based on incident information from the CA Global Security Advisor team,
submitted by CA customers and consumers from January to June 2009, as well as
publicly available information. For the full CA 2009 State of Internet Security
report, please visit www.ca.com/securityadvisor.
The CA Global Security Advisor Team delivers the around-the-clock, dependable
security expertise, offering trusted security advice to the world for more than
16 years. Providing a complete threat management resource, CA's Security Advisor
Team is staffed by industry-leading researchers and skilled support
professionals. CA Global Security Advisor is available at
www.ca.com/securityadvisor. It offers free security alerts, RSS feeds, PC scans
and a regular blog updated by the worldwide team of researchers. CA's entire
portfolio of threat-related products for home, small and medium businesses, and
enterprises are updated and protected by the CA Global Security Advisor team.
About CA ISBU
CA Internet Security Business Unit (ISBU) is a unit of CA, Inc. dedicated to the
development, marketing and support for CA anti-malware products. The products
include a full range of enterprise, SMB and home / home office Internet security
software. The products are backed by CA's Security Advisor research team and
have received major industry certifications. CA ISBU products are also offered
by more than 10,000 resellers and OEM partners including leading Internet
Service Providers (ISPs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). The products
are currently licensed for use on more than 70 million PCs worldwide. For more
information, please visit http://security.com/partners.
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