• PandaLabs Q1 report shows resurgence in traditional viruses after decline in recent years;
• BlackHat SEO attacks using Apple and Facebook are among cybercriminals’ preferred strategies;
• Panda Security involved in takedown of Mariposa, one of the largest botnets on record.
PandaLabs, the anti-malware laboratory of Panda Security has published its Q1 2010 report , analyzing the IT security events and incidents of the first three months of the year
As forecasted by PandaLabs, the amount of new malware in circulation has continued to increase. In this first quarter, the most prevalent category was once again banker Trojans, accounting for 61% of all new malware. Interestingly, the second placed category was traditional viruses comprising more than 15 percent of all malware, despite having shown a dramatic decrease in recent years.
“The growing prevalence of banker Trojans signals to us that online accounts for both consumers and businesses continue to be increasingly attractive financial targets for cybercriminals,” said Sean-Paul Correll, threat researcher at PandaLabs. “In addition, the widespread availability of DIY kits online has spurred new, less technical individuals into the cybercrime business as evidenced by the Mariposa case. The simultaneous growth in traditional virus activity is an interesting trend and we suspect this means that cybercriminals are attempting to draw the attention of anti-virus laboratories away from other seemingly more harmful threats.”
In other areas of IT security, botnets have seen considerable activity in 2010. For example, Panda Security played a key role in dismantling Mariposa, one of the largest botnets known to date, and subsequently detected Mariposa malware on y Vodafone devices. Mariposa stole account information for social media sites and other online e-mail services, usernames and passwords, banking credentials and credit card data through infiltrating an estimated 12.7 million compromised personal, corporate, government and university IP addresses in more than 190 countries. The botnet was shut down and rendered inactive on December 23rd, 2009, thanks to the collaborative effort of different security experts and law enforcement, including Panda Security, Defence Intelligence, the FBI and Spanish Guardia Civil.
The infection ranking, generated from data supplied by the Panda ActiveScan free online scanner, sees Spain once again in first place, with over 35% of computers infected. Then come the USA, Mexico and Brazil.
On a similar note, 2010 has so far seen considerable activity related with other areas of IT security, with the dismantling of , one of the largest botnets known to date, the detection of malware in devices distributed by , and the discovery of a number of critical vulnerabilities.
In addition, popular online search topics, including Apple’s iPad and Facebook applications, were once again used in BlackHat SEO attacks. Similarly, cybercriminals continue to use social networks to distribute malware, a trend that saw a considerable uptick in 2009 and will continue throughout 2010.
On receiving a possibly infected file, Panda Security"s technical staff get straight down to work. The file is analyzed and depending on the type, the action taken may include: disassembly, macro scanning, code analysis etc. If the file does in fact contain a new virus, the disinfection and detection routines are prepared and quickly distributed to users.