19 Nov 2010

Malware rising, spam dropping says antivirus firm

According to an antivirus software company, malware levels are at an all-time high and are still rising. Spam levels, on the other hand, are on the way down.

According to the report, the company discovered an average of 60,000 new malware threats per day in the third quarter of 2010, almost four times more than during the same period in 2007. In 2010, the company has discovered 14 million unique malware infections, 1 million more than last year at this time.

The company singled out the Zeus botnet as one of the most sophisticated to emerge. Zeus botnet campaigns targeted several high-level organizations and companies, including FedEx, the IRS, the USPS and the Social Security Administration.

Blackhat SEO attacks also increased, with 60 percent of the top Google search terms returning malicious links within the first 100 results.

Spam, however, declined this quarter, both globally and in local geographies, the company reported. Spam levels reached a two-year low this quarter.

As malware has become more sophisticated, internet security experts have become more wary of the threats they pose. Recently, a group of experts warned U.S. lawmakers than the Stuxnet malware might be the most dangerous malware ever encountered.