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Daren Lewis | 01 Dec 2010 | 0 comments

On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. We also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days leading up to the publication of the report we will share a few of these trends.

Automation Advances Targeted Attacks
Highly targeted attacks are steadily increasing in number. These carefully crafted attacks target specific users in specific organizations and require significant effort and research on behalf of the cybercriminal.

In 2011 criminal enterprises will increasingly automate this research to create a heavier volume of more powerful and convincing attacks that appear particularly relevant, interesting and/or newsworthy to the intended victims.

Later today: Targeted Attacks Diversify

Published earlier:

  • Global Spam Trends:...
Daren Lewis | 30 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. We also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days leading up to the publication of the report we will share a few of these trends.

Trending Topics Fashioned to Follow the News 

We’ve seen malware that attempts to ensure that links to infected pages are returned in search engine results using black-hat search-engine optimization techniques.

In 2011, the criminals will go one step further. Rather than just promoting compromised websites through search engine optimization they will proactively identify websites likely to see higher than normal levels of traffic based on current events or hot topics on the internet. They will use multiple methods, including monitoring of micro-blogging site topics and search engine hot topic feeds, to track these...

Daren Lewis | 29 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. We also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days leading up to the publication of the report we will share a few of these trends.

Stuxnet Strikes Up Malware Specialization

One of the most threatening advances in malware during 2010 broadened the range of targets beyond PCs and servers when the Stuxnet Trojan attacked programmable logic controllers. This specialized malware written to exploit physical infrastructures will continue in 2011 driven by the huge sums of money available to criminal enterprises at low risk of prosecution.
These attacks will range from the obvious targets like smartphones, to any number of less obvious yet critical systems like power grid controls or electronic voting systems. Any technology that can be exploited for financial gain...

Daren Lewis | 24 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. We also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days leading up to the publication of the report we will share a few of these trends.

Making Web Security Work in an Era of Pervasive Threats
In 2010 more than 80% of malicious threats intercepted were found on legitimate websites that had been compromised either directly or indirectly via third party provided content. At the same time categories which were once easy to block universally, like social media, are becoming increasingly business relevant.

In 2011 we expect IT managers will be forced by business necessity to implement more granular and refined web security policies. Particular business units, departments or users will be granted access to certain websites or categories of sites. Our data indicates...

Daren Lewis | 24 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. We also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days leading up to the publication of the report we will share a few of these trends.

Security and Services Continue Migrate to the Cloud
An increasingly distributed workforce is pushing organizations to the cloud for suitable security solutions that will be required to work seamlessly across multiple platforms, as users switch between devices used to store and transmit information online. In 2011 businesses will increasingly begin to reap the benefits of adopting a hybrid infrastructure that is premise-based, private cloud based and public cloud based and will seek to deliver a seamless user experience regardless of device or access location.

Later today: Making Web Security Work in an Era...

MarissaVicario | 23 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

Posted on behalf of Mathew Nisbet, Malware Data Analyst, Symantec Hosted Services

Cutwail has recently been sending spam making use of cached versions of webpages, as well as the same type of HTML text obfuscation I mentioned in a recent blog:  http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/cutwail-take.... In this case, the email is much longer, making it even harder to spot the actual text unless the viewer looks at the rendered HTML.

This time the obfuscation is slightly enhanced though. Rather than just attempting to use colors to hide the 'junk' text, the HTML changes the size of the font and letter positioning too. The text meant to fool filters, but not to be read by humans, is made so small it would simply...

Daren Lewis | 23 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. We also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days leading up to the publication of the report we will share a few of these trends.

Distributed Workforce Drives Security Policies

The past year has challenged businesses with securing an increasingly distributed workforce in the wake of the recent global economic crisis. With laptops and smart-phones becoming ubiquitous the workforce is increasingly distributed regardless of where workers spend their traditional work day. To remain competitive, as the economy begins to recover, companies will continue to look to employee productivity gains from longer hours, working remotely and from home offices. IDC estimates that 1 billion workers will be mobile at least part of the time or remote from their firm’s main...

Daren Lewis | 22 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. As is our standard practice we also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days before we publish our report we will share a few of these trends.

Global Spam Trends
In 2011, spam will become more culturally and linguistically diverse.  The use of English in spam will fall from approximately 95% of all spam to below 90% driven by economic growth and broadband adoption in emerging economies. For instance, spammers will target Brazil with more than 40 percent of spam in Portuguese. 

Portuguese and Spanish will become some of the most popular languages used in spam other than English. We expect Italy to receive 20-25% of spam in Italian, France to receive 15-20% French language spam and Germany will find 10-15% of its spam in German. China will receive...

MarissaVicario | 18 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

Posted on behalf of Martin Lee, Senior Software Engineer, Symantec Hosted Services  

Recent reports have focused on several well-known botnets revealing millions of dollars in money trails associated with them. What many people may not realize is that botnets are often run like a business. The distribution of malware is an economic crime primarily undertaken to make money for the perpetrators. Most malware is written for the purpose of creating botnets, vast networks of virus infected computers under the control of a single gang. The gang then rents out the botnets to other criminals who use the computers within the botnet to make money.

The prices for rental of the botnet depend on the economic forces of supply and demand, the size of the botnet and the duration for which it is rented. Prices range from as low as $9 per hour to higher than $65 per hour.

But how do the criminals get money from their outlay?

1.  ...

MarissaVicario | 10 Nov 2010 | 0 comments

Posted on behalf of Mathew Nisbet, Malware Data Analyst, Symantec Hosted Services

As the next G20 summit approaches, businesses once again must be on guard for criminals looking to exploit this important political event. The G20 (and also G8) summits are occasions when anyone invested in the summits are more vulnerable to cyber attack, particularly those deploying social engineering tactics. It is a time when people are much more likely to be receiving unsolicited mail, often with attachments. The attackers know this and will exploit it if they can.
 
Since the start of October MessageLabs Intelligence has seen an increase in the frequency of targeted attacks on the subject of the G20 summit and its host country, South Korea. Through July, August and September, there was an average of around one targeted attack per day. So far in October and November this has tripled to three attacks per day. This activity can be seen in the...