Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/28/2020
The Problem with Artificial Intelligence in Security
Dr. Leila Powell, Lead Security Data Scientist, Panaseer,  5/26/2020
10 iOS Security Tips to Lock Down Your iPhone
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  5/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-6342
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
An access bypass vulnerability exists when the experimental Workspaces module in Drupal 8 core is enabled. This can be mitigated by disabling the Workspaces module. It does not affect any release other than Drupal 8.7.4.
CVE-2020-11082
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
In Kaminari before 1.2.1, there is a vulnerability that would allow an attacker to inject arbitrary code into pages with pagination links. This has been fixed in 1.2.1.
CVE-2020-5357
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
Dell Dock Firmware Update Utilities for Dell Client Consumer and Commercial docking stations contain an Arbitrary File Overwrite vulnerability. The vulnerability is limited to the Dell Dock Firmware Update Utilities during the time window while being executed by an administrator. During this time wi...
CVE-2020-13660
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
CMS Made Simple through 2.2.14 allows XSS via a crafted File Picker profile name.
CVE-2020-11079
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
node-dns-sync (npm module dns-sync) through 0.2.0 allows execution of arbitrary commands . This issue may lead to remote code execution if a client of the library calls the vulnerable method with untrusted input. This has been fixed in 0.2.1.