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Security Response
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Symantec Security Response | 26 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Twice a year, Symantec produces the Internet Security Threat Report,a comprehensive report outlining the major trends in Internet securityover the previous six-month period. One security concern that is ofinterest to many people is the growth of spam and spam-related issues.Symantec monitors the source and volume of spam from around the worldand uses this information to discuss the major trends in thespam-related landscape.

One trend that has been relatively steady is the largest country oforigin for spam messages. In the second half of 2006, around nine outof 20 spam messages were sent from the United States. This highlightsthat although some other countries are gaining notoriety for being spamhavens, the United States is still the number one spam distributor inthe world. In fact, spam from the United States outnumbers spam fromthe second closest country, China, at a rate of seven to one. Soalthough countries like China, Russia, and Brazil are touted as beingthe...

Symantec Security Response | 26 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Twice a year, Symantec produces the Internet Security Threat Report,a comprehensive report outlining the major trends in Internet securityover the previous six-month period. One security concern that is ofinterest to many people is the growth of spam and spam-related issues.Symantec monitors the source and volume of spam from around the worldand uses this information to discuss the major trends in thespam-related landscape.

One trend that has been relatively steady is the largest country oforigin for spam messages. In the second half of 2006, around nine outof 20 spam messages were sent from the United States. This highlightsthat although some other countries are gaining notoriety for being spamhavens, the United States is still the number one spam distributor inthe world. In fact, spam from the United States outnumbers spam fromthe second closest country, China, at a rate of seven to one. Soalthough countries like China, Russia, and Brazil are touted as beingthe...

Joseph Blackbird | 23 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Given the increase of malicious activity in the current threatlandscape, consumers need to be more cautious when browsing theInternet. Web browsers are now supporting an increasing number oftechnologies. The more a Web browser has to deal with, the more likelya security hole will be inadvertently coded into it. Therefore, it's nowonder attackers are targeting the growing number of vulnerabilities inWeb browsers.

Over the last six months of 2006 we have been tracking thedistribution of attacks targeting Web browsers. The results show thatMicrosoft’s Internet Explorer leads with an extremely large margin inthe number of attackers targeting it. The primary focus of attacksseems to target ActiveX controls; ActiveX controls are not strictly apart of the browser, but simply provide functionality that can be usedby the browser. This brings into question the security viability ofMicrosoft’s latest version of their popular browser Internet Explorer 7.

Internet Explorer 7...

Joseph Blackbird | 23 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Given the increase of malicious activity in the current threatlandscape, consumers need to be more cautious when browsing theInternet. Web browsers are now supporting an increasing number oftechnologies. The more a Web browser has to deal with, the more likelya security hole will be inadvertently coded into it. Therefore, it's nowonder attackers are targeting the growing number of vulnerabilities inWeb browsers.

Over the last six months of 2006 we have been tracking thedistribution of attacks targeting Web browsers. The results show thatMicrosoft’s Internet Explorer leads with an extremely large margin inthe number of attackers targeting it. The primary focus of attacksseems to target ActiveX controls; ActiveX controls are not strictly apart of the browser, but simply provide functionality that can be usedby the browser. This brings into question the security viability ofMicrosoft’s latest version of their popular browser Internet Explorer 7.

Internet Explorer 7...

Dean Turner | 22 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Predicting the future of Internet threat activity is a bit likepredicting the weather; it is primarily accomplished with theapplication of science and technology, but it also includes the skillof human observation. The "Future Watch" section of the recentlyreleased Internet Security Threat Report, Volume XI, uses allof the resources available to Symantec, some of which include theSymantec™ Global Intelligence Network, the BugTraq™ mailing list, theSymantec Probe Network, as well as malicious code data gathered alongwith spyware and adware reports from over 120 million client, server,and gateway systems that have deployed Symantec’s antivirus products.We also consult with our numerous security experts who, like goodweather forecasters, don't have to wait for the clouds to know a stormis coming.

Between July 1 and December 31, 2006, Symantec blocked over 1.5billion phishing messages, an increase of 19 percent over the firsthalf of 2006. One of the predictions...

Dean Turner | 22 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Predicting the future of Internet threat activity is a bit likepredicting the weather; it is primarily accomplished with theapplication of science and technology, but it also includes the skillof human observation. The "Future Watch" section of the recentlyreleased Internet Security Threat Report, Volume XI, uses allof the resources available to Symantec, some of which include theSymantec™ Global Intelligence Network, the BugTraq™ mailing list, theSymantec Probe Network, as well as malicious code data gathered alongwith spyware and adware reports from over 120 million client, server,and gateway systems that have deployed Symantec’s antivirus products.We also consult with our numerous security experts who, like goodweather forecasters, don't have to wait for the clouds to know a stormis coming.

Between July 1 and December 31, 2006, Symantec blocked over 1.5billion phishing messages, an increase of 19 percent over the firsthalf of 2006. One of the predictions...

Joseph Blackbird | 21 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

As spring quickly approaches, the Internet continues to grow into amore and more complex world driven by commerce. Businesses have longsince moved in and millions of dollars change hands every day online.Along with big business comes organized crime. Perhaps not necessarilythe organized crime immortalized in stories like The Godfather or The Sopranos,but Internet crimes are carried out in an organized way designed toconnect the theft of a single person’s user account credentials to abuyer on the mass market for illegal information. Throughout thisorganization, bots play the leading role.

Bots, once used primarily by their owners to carry out denial ofservice attacks driven by grudges, bragging rights, or politicalmotives, have been firmly incorporated into the toolkit of organizedcrime on the Internet. Bots can do pretty much anything: carry outattacks, host spam relays, carry out DoS attacks, host phishing sites,and log keystrokes on the computer they...

Joseph Blackbird | 21 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

As spring quickly approaches, the Internet continues to grow into amore and more complex world driven by commerce. Businesses have longsince moved in and millions of dollars change hands every day online.Along with big business comes organized crime. Perhaps not necessarilythe organized crime immortalized in stories like The Godfather or The Sopranos,but Internet crimes are carried out in an organized way designed toconnect the theft of a single person’s user account credentials to abuyer on the mass market for illegal information. Throughout thisorganization, bots play the leading role.

Bots, once used primarily by their owners to carry out denial ofservice attacks driven by grudges, bragging rights, or politicalmotives, have been firmly incorporated into the toolkit of organizedcrime on the Internet. Bots can do pretty much anything: carry outattacks, host spam relays, carry out DoS attacks, host phishing sites,and log keystrokes on the computer they...

Ron Bowes | 20 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

The default install of OpenBSD is well known to have one of the mostsecure default installations available. The OpenBSD team hastraditionally enjoyed the luxury of claiming to have only a singleremotely exploitable vulnerability the past 10 years. However, CoreSecurity recently discovered a new vulnerability in the IPv6 stack of OpenBSD. As a result, the OpenBSD project had to change the text on their main page to: “Only two remote holes in the default install, in more than 10 years!”

A buffer overflow may be triggered when a fragmented IPv6 packet isreceived. Although this was originally thought by the vendor to be nomore than a denial of service issue, a proof of concept exploit wasdeveloped, proving that the vulnerability is exploitable. The totaltime elapsed between the vulnerability being initially disclosed...

Marc Fossi | 20 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Six months ago, in the previous volume of Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report,I wrote that we were seeing a shift away from “noisy” worms towardstargeted Trojans that attract less attention. In the second half of2006, this trend remained true, as the volume of Trojans reported bySymantec customers increased and the volume of worms decreased. At thesame time, a lot of these Trojans are becoming more sophisticated.

In the latest edition of the Internet Security Threat Report,we note that multi-stage downloaders, also referred to as modularTrojans, are becoming more prevalent most likely because of theirversatility. The first stage of these downloaders is usually a smallTrojan that disables your security and antivirus applications thendownloads a more complex threat. Since the initial stage disablessecurity applications, the second stage can be almost...