There has been a sharp rise in the number of new viruses being circulated via e-mail – which major anti-virus engines were unable to defend against for several hours, leaving networks exposed.
This is one of the findings from the Q2 2009 Internet Threats Trend Report from Cyberoam and Commtouch.
One reason for the rise in such malware outbreaks is the appearance of aggressive new variants of several different Trojans for which major anti-virus products took anything between 4 to 80 hours time to detect the malware.
Abhilash Sonwane, vice-president: product management at Cyberoam, comments: "Today’s viruses, worms and Trojan downloaders target the biggest weakness in traditional anti-viruses – an inability to release remedial signatures and heuristics within moments of new malware outbreaks."
Attackers continue to find creative means of bypassing security solutions. In a new phishing trend, they used a unique redirection method that enables them to bypass traditional URL filtering solutions by hiding code between pages hosted on a legitimate education site which they have hijacked.
Apart from this, there has been a resurgence in the once-popular image spam messages – this time using new tactics such as forgoing MIME-format standards to bypass traditional spam filters. Intricate scams such as Nigerian 419 schemes are making headlines once again, as spam has slipped through Gmail filters too.
Among other threats this quarter, was the use of current events to appeal to recipients’ emotions. Global events including the death of pop superstar, Michael Jackson, and the spread of the swine flu were popular spam subjects.
Among Web 2.0 trends, streaming media and downloads are among the top 10 Web site categories infected with malware; they are also two of the most popular categories within the category of user generated content sites.