20 May 2011

April sees an increase of malware, says report

Cyber criminals were apparently busy during April, releasing more than 73,000 variants of malware on a daily basis, increasing 26 percent from April 2010, according to a report by an internet security company.

High-profile events led to increased attacks, including the Royal Wedding, the Easter holiday, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin of becoming the first man in space and the release of President Obama’s birth certificate. Of the top 10 malware threats during the month, seven were Trojans, including the Zeus and Spyeye Trojans.

Malware writers also increased rogue AV attacks, taking advantage of the major events. Search engine poisoning took advantage of users searching for information regarding the month’s events, prompting some to download fake antivirus software on their computers.

“In addition to the increase in fake AV offerings, April saw a rise in high-profile security breaches. Both online marketing firm Epsilon and Sony’s PlayStation Network had security breaches at the hands of hackers last month,” said Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher at the internet security company.

One piece of malware that has been attacking computer users for years is Sunspot. According to a report by an internet security company, the Sunspot malware now has the capability to commit financial fraud.