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Threat Intelligence / News Briefs

Malware Detection Declining, Anti-Phishing Filters Detect Less than 50% of Attacks, Says Report

A study comparing best-of-breed computer security vendors suggests more than half of active malware and phishing threats on the Internet go undetected, with an average detection rate of 37% for malware and 42% for phishing. "Given the dynamic nature of today's online threats and the traditionally reactive approach taken by today's malware and phishing detection technology, conventional signature-based solutions are inherently at a disadvantage to keep up," said Panos Anastassiadis, CEO and Chairman of Cyveillance. "Because the majority of damage occurs during the first 24 hours of an attack, early detection of attacks is crucial." more

X-Force Report: Corporations Becoming No. 1 Security Threat to Their Own Customers

With the alarming increase in cyberattacks, criminals are literally turning businesses against their own customers in order to steal consumer's personal data, warns the latest annual X-Force Trend and Risk report from IBM. "The security industry puts a lot of effort into the technical evaluation of security threats, examining, sometimes at great length, the potential threat that each issue might present to corporations and consumers. Criminal attackers out for profit, however, have considerations that the security industry does not always take into account, such as monetization cost and overall profitability." more

Google Flags Entire Web Unsafe, Glitch Due to Human Error According to Company

A glitch in Google's security update on Saturday morning caused links to every search result -- including Google's own pages -- to get flagged with the warning: "This site may harm your computer." The errors caused panic among users around the world who at first feared the popular search engine had suffered a major security failure. The problem which lasted for approximately 40 minutes has now been acknowledged and fixed by Google. The reason for the hiccup, as explained by Google, was due to a human error in the list of URLs Google uses to identify and flag websites known to install malicious software. more

Expect More Malware Threats Exploiting the Financial Crisis, Warn Experts for 2009

Continued exploitation of the financial crisis to scam users with fake financial transactions services, fake investment firms, and fake legal services is the top trend to emerge for 2009 according threat predictions by McAfee. "Computer users face a dangerous one-two punch today," said Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs, McAfee's research group. "The current economic crisis is delivering a blow to our financial well-being, while malware authors are taking advantage of our distraction to deliver a roundhouse strike." more

Report on Possibly the Largest Data Breach Ever

Amidst all the recent reports of data breaches, Gunter Ollmann of IBM Internet Security Systems, has reported today about one particular case which may be the largest data breach to date. Ollmann wirtes: "The media has been full of analysis concerning data breaches over the last couple of weeks, mostly related to the uptick in 2008 reports. While much of this increase can be accounted for by the wider adoption of state legislation that mandates companies to publicly disclose their data breaches, I think it is worth pointing out today's latest disclosure -- which is quite probably the largest breach ever." more

Phishers Using New Web-Based Technique ‘In-Session Phishing’ to Steal User Data, Researchers Warn

Security researchers have identified a new phishing attack method designed to trick users into surrendering confidential information after they have logged on to an online banking, brokerage, or other sensitive website. The technique, called In Session Phishing, can be used to inject into all major browsers legitimate looking Pop Up messages using malicious JavaScript that request passwords, account numbers, etc., on behalf of the trusted website. more

An Early Look at the State of Spam in 2009, Social Networking Spam on the Rise

As recently reported, spam volumes indicate spam has nearly jumped back up to its pre-McColo shutdown levels. However, Symantec's The State of Spam report has also observed that in recent days spammers are increasingly piggybacking on legitimate newsletters and using the reputation of major social networking sites to try and deliver spam messages into recipients' inboxes... In its special URL investigation the report also indicates that on average approximately 90 percent of all spam messages today contain some kind of a URL. Additionally, analysis of data from past recent days, according to Symantec, have shown that 68% of all URLs in spam messages had a '.com' Top-Level Domain (TLD), 18% had a China's '.cn' ccTLD and 5% had a '.net'. more

Gaza Conflict Spilling Over Into the Internet, Cyberwar Underway

Whatever your personal perspective of the rights and wrongs of the current Arab-Israeli war in Gaza, there is a second front being fought on the Internet, says Jart Armin of HostExploit.com in a blog post today. "This form of warfare is a battle of words and often vivid imagery engaged by hackers from either side of the divide." more

Spam Peaked at 200 Billion per Day in 2008, Botnets Nexus of Criminal Activity, Says Cisco

In a 52 page security report released by Cisco, the company has confirmed what has been consistently been observed through out this year: "the Internet-based attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and specialized as profit-driven criminals continue to hone their approach to stealing data from businesses, employees and consumers." The 2008 edition of the report has specified the year's top security threats and offers recommendations for protecting networks against attacks that are propagating more rapidly, becoming increasingly difficult to detect, and exploiting technological and human vulnerabilities. more

Eugene Kaspersky: We Need Interpol for Internet, Law Enforcement Agencies Have Jurisdictional Limits

Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of Internet security software Kaspersky Lab, was recently interviewed PC World where he talked about his views regarding cybersecurity and the evolution of malware. In response to fixing the problems with malware on the Internet, Kapersky says: "The Internet was never designed with security in mind. If I was God, and wanted to fix the Internet, I would start by ensuring that every user has a sort of Internet passport: basically, a means of verifying identity, just like in the real world, with driver's licenses and passports and so on. The second problem is one of jurisdiction. The Internet has no borders, and neither do the criminals who operate on the Internet. However, law enforcement agencies have jurisdictional limits, and are unable to conduct investigations across the globe. ... There is no such thing as anonymity on the Internet, for the average user." more

Google Releases a One-Stop Reference Source to Browser Security

Today via its Online Security Blog, Google announced the release of its Browser Security Handbook aimed at providing web application developers, browser engineers, and information security researchers a "one-stop reference" to critical security attributes of modern web browsers. "Insufficient understanding of these often poorly-documented characteristics is a major contributing factor to the prevalence of several classes of security vulnerabilities," says the introduction to the 60-page document. more

Policy Review: Botnets are eWMD, electronic Weapons of Mass Destruction

The latest issue of Policy Review from the Hoover Institution, a public policy research center -- focused on advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy -- has an essay titled eWMDs – electronic weapons of mass destruction. The Policiy Review readers are warned that botnets should be considered a serious security problem and that "cyber attacks present a grave new security vulnerability for all nations and must be urgently addressed." more

Cybercrime, Underground Economy Booming, Stolen Credit Card Data Main Driver

Credit card information is the most advertised category of goods and services on the underground economy accounting for 31 percent of the total, according to recent data found by security experts. In a report released today by Symantec, stolen credit card numbers are reported to sell for as little as $0.10 to $25 per card with the average advertised stolen credit card limit at more than $4,000. According to calculations, the potential worth of all credit cards advertised during the reporting period was $5.3 billion. more

Phishers Expand Number of Top Level Domains Abused, Policy Changes Found Effective in Prevention

The new Global Phishing Survey released by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) this month reveals that phishing gangs are concentrating their efforts within specific top level domains (TLDs), but also that anti-phishing policies and mitigation programs by domain name registrars and registries can have a significant and positive effect. The number of TLDs abused by phishers for their attacks expanded 7 percent from 145 in H2/2007 to 155 in H1/2008. The proportion of Internet-protocol (IP) number-based phishing sites decreased 35 percent in that same period, declining from 18 percent in the second half of 2007 to 13 percent in the first half of 2008. more

DDoS Attacks Getting More Powerful, ISPs Report Concern Over New Threats and Budget Pressures

Massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against ISPs and their customers have almost doubled over the past year, according to a new security report. Attacks on networks making them unavailable to intended users -- also known as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks -- exceeded 40 gigabits in the last year according to Arbor Networks' annual survey of ISPs from North America, South America, Europe and Asia. more