19 May 2011

Cyber criminals identified as two classes

Microsoft recently brought to light the growing malware threats taking place on social networking websites.

According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, cyber criminals are broken down into two classes. The first class utilizes sophisticated techniques to target social networking sites, including social engineering malware targeting large organizations. The second class uses clickjacking and phishing attacks targeting a larger user base.

Microsoft obtained information from more than 600 million Windows machines and reported that rogue security software was found on nearly 19 million of them in 2010. Phishing attacks against social networking sites increased 1,200 percent from 8.3 percent in January 2010 to 84.5 percent last December.

“We're seeing these attacks run more like marketing campaigns and especially during significant events that attract media attention, such as the disaster in Japan," Jerry Bryant, group manager of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group told InformationWeek.

Considered to be a low-level threat, phishing has become a major issue recently. According to a recent report by Computerworld, cyber criminals are using phishing emails to target high-profile executives and breach large organizations.