Scareware hits record levels

Malware at highest level all year last month, as scareware continues to grow more dangerous

Tags: Cyber crimeFortinet IncorporationMalwareScarewareUSA
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Scareware hits record levels Seven out of the top ten malware threats in October were scareware.
By  Mark Sutton Published  November 8, 2009

October saw record levels of malware, according to network security provider Fortinet.

According to Fortinet's Threatscape report, the total amount of malware detected was the highest in over a year, with levels four times greater than in the previous month.

The vast majority of malware detected is scareware, with the worst levels of scareware ever recorded. Seven of the top ten malware variants detected linked back to scareware, with scareware tactics diverging to include botnets, corrupted advertisements and SEO attacks.

Derek Manky, project manager, cyber security and threat research, Fortinet commented: "We're seeing record levels of scareware building off volume from September, and the danger in these threats is only becoming more serious as the methods for delivery evolve and the blending of attacks bring more complexity.

"As we've seen in the consistency of repeated threats, the old schemes are still proving to be good methods. Enterprises and consumers must take equal responsibility in understanding the disguises of these threats and implementing a multi-pronged security solution that addresses the different and changing characteristics of tried and true tactics," he added.

Among the most notable developments in October, was the preponderance of AntiVirus Pro 2010 rogue security software, which when installed will contact a remote server in order to obtain malicious payload and receive updated copies; a trojan downloader named Bredolab which is now downloading AntiVirus Pro 2010 installers and the ZBot keylogger; and the ongoing development of affiliate programs that tempt participants with a handsome pay-out on each software download purchased. Tools and kits are readily available to participating affiliates, accelerating the distribution of scareware and other malicious components.

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