11/29/2011
01:09 PM
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Norman Q3 Security Update Shows Significant Drop In FakeAV

Zbot and SpyEye families also down



OSLO, Norway, Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The trend in malicious software and attempted cyber crime is up but some of the most popular and visible malware is trending down.

According to lab results from Norman ASA, a leading global malware research and security company, researchers in September analyzed and found more than two million malicious files, or more than 72,000 files of malware per day pulsing through the internet like burglars going house-to-house looking for open windows and unlocked doors.

However, three of the most notorious malware families familiar to consumers and businesses have in fact had significant reductions in the malware attacks so far this year.

Norman researchers found that FakeAV dropped from approximately 45,000 attacks in June to less than 5,000 in August. FakeAV works like a crooked auto mechanic. It diagnoses a problem that doesn't exist. PC users will click on an internet link which then claims to have found a malware infection on your computer.

Similarly, Zbot, also known as Zeus, became less of a threat from nearly 20,000 incidents in January to nearly neglible levels in September. Malware cousin SpyEye stayed under 2,000 incidents throughout the year.

Zbot, Zeus and related programs such as SpyEye first emerged in 2007 and attempt to steal financial information by methods including keystroke logging and form grabbing. Innocent users are tricked into drive-by downloading a malicious program which targets such personal data as the login information of banking credentials, credit card information or social security numbers. Bank accounts can be wiped out in seconds.

"Our data would indicate that the FakeAV family seems to have been reduced substantially by attacking the payment services used by them," said Chrisophe Birkeland, Norman CTO. "While a number of malware attacks were certainly on the rise this year, these three families seem to have quieted down significantly. An important factor could be that coordinated police action in many countries has appeared inhibited the cyber criminals."

Antivirus programs such as Norman Security Suite 9 and Norman Endpoint Protection 9 detect malware such as FakeAV, Zeus and SpyEye, but millions of users don't use antimalware programs or let them expire.

"The statistics we have compiled can change quickly if a malware mass-producer starts up or quits," Birkeland said. "But the effects of file-infecting viruses can be substantial in any case since even one file infector can create millions of malicious files even if they are coming from only one source of malware. Our labs see millions of files per year, so these trends are quite valid."

For more information on all Norman security solutions, please go to www.norman.com.

For free malware cleaning, please go to: http://www.norman.com/support/support_tools/malware_cleaner/en-us.

About Norman ASA

Founded in Norway in 1984, Norman ASA is a global leader and pioneer in proactive content security solutions and forensics malware tools. Norman's proactive antimalware solutions, including malware analysis tools, network security and endpoint protection, are powered by patented Norman SandBox' technology and used by security solutions providers around the world.

Norman's unified core antimalware protection for clients, servers and network security are delivered as products and services designed to protect business communications and resources, including corporate and government networks and applications, remote employees, branch offices and extranets. Norman's solutions are available through Norman subsidiaries and a network of global partners. For more information, visit www.norman.com.

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