Malware

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Energy Industry Number One Target by Cyber Criminals, According to New Study

Web security company, ScanSafe reports that, in the past quarter, companies in the Energy industry faced the greatest risk of Web-based malware exposure, at a 196% heightened risk compared to other verticals. The Pharmaceutical and Chemicals industry faced the second highest risk of exposure at 192% followed by the Construction & Engineering industry at 150%. The Media and Publishing industry were also among those at highest risk, with a 129% heightened risk compared to other verticals. more

Fake Anti-Virus Peddlers Taking Aggressive Steps to Avoid Detection

Over at Krebs on Secrity blog, Brian Krebs reports: "Purveyors of fake anti-virus or 'scareware' programs have aggressively stepped up their game to evade detection by legitimate anti-virus programs, according to new data from Google. In a report being released today, Google said that between January 2009 and the end of January 2010, its malware detection infrastructure found some 11,000 malicious or hacked Web pages that attempted to foist fake anti-virus on visitors." more

US Justice Department and FBI Dismantle Long-Running Russian State-Sponsored Cyber-Espionage Operation Targeting NATO

The United States Department of Justice has announced that it has neutralized a global network of computers compromised by malware called "Snake," which the U.S. government attributes to a unit within Center 16 of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB). more

Global Recession Appears to Have Also Hit the Malware Industry

According to reports by German software security company G Data, since the beginning of summer, the malware community appears to have been scaling back its activities. This considerable reduction is, according to the estimates of G Data security expert Ralf Benzm├╝ller, not solely due to the forthcoming holiday season. The global recession appears to have also hit the eCrime economy. "This phenomenon emerges every year as something new. At the start of the holiday season, the number of malware programs falls. One reason for this is the worldwide onset of the travel season, which, based on experience, causes a drop in the number of active Internet users. However, this does not explain a collapse of more than 30 percent," says Ralf Benzm├╝ller. more

Latvian ISP Closure Dents Cutwail Botnet ...for a Whole 48 Hours

From MessageLabs' latest report: "Real Host, an ISP based in Riga, Latvia was alleged to be linked to command-and-control servers for infected botnet computers, as well as being linked to malicious websites, phishing websites and 'rogue' anti-virus products. Real Host was disconnected by its upstream providers on 1 August 2009. The impact was immediately felt, where spam volumes dropped briefly by as much as 38% in the subsequent 48-hour period. Much of this spam was linked to the Cutwail botnet, currently one of the largest botnets and responsible for approximately 15-20% of all spam. Its activity levels fell by as much as 90% when Real Host was taken offline, but quickly recovered in a matter of days." more

Survey Suggests Strained Budgets Causing Security Cutbacks on Known Threats

A recent survey of security professionals by RSA Conference with regards to critical security threats and infrastructure issues currently faced, revealed budgetary constrains as the top challenge currently faced. According to reports, the study suggests that even though practitioners are most concerned about email phishing and securing mobile devices, technologies addressing these needs are at risk of being cut from IT budgets. 72% percent of respondents indicated a rise in email-borne malware and phishing attempts since Fall 2008, with 57% stating they have seen an increase in Web-borne malware. Concerns about zero-day attacks and rogue employees as a result of layoffs were cited by 28% and 26% of survey respondents, respectively. more

Latest Study Suggests Computers Remain Infected Far Longer Than Previously Suggested

Contrary to previous security reports suggesting compromised machines remain infected for 6 weeks, experts at Trend Micro say these estimates are far from accurate. In its recent blog post the company said: "During the analysis of approximately 100 million compromised IP addresses, we identified that half of all IP addresses were infected for at least 300 days. That percentage rises to eighty percent if the minimum time is reduced to a month." Additionally the study also indicates that while three quarter of the IP addresses were linked to consumer users, the remaining quarter belonged to enterprise users. more

Over Half of Critical Infrastructure Providers Report Politically Motivated Cyber Attacks

A recent study released today suggests 53 percent of critical infrastructure providers have experienced what they perceived as politically motivated cyber attacks. According to Symantec's 2010 Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Survey, participants claimed to have experienced such an attack on an average of 10 times in the past five years, incurring an average cost of $850,000 during a period of five years to their businesses. more

U.S. Targets Russian Mastermind Behind Dominant Ransomware Landscape, Offers $10 Million Reward

The U.S. government has declared criminal charges, economic sanctions, and a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of a Russian citizen, Mikhail Matveev. Accused of a series of ransomware attacks, Matveev's alleged operations, known as Babuk, have targeted entities such as the D.C. police, an airline, and other American industries. more

Gigabyte Motherboard Firmware Exposes Millions of PCs to Potential Cybersecurity Threats

In a potentially damaging cybersecurity revelation, researchers from the cybersecurity company Eclypsium have identified a hidden mechanism in the firmware of motherboards manufactured by Taiwanese company Gigabyte. more