More work to do
Gullotto said phishing via social networking has increased from a low of 8.3 per cent of all phishing in January to a high of 84.5 per cent in December 2010. "The popularity of social networking sites has created new opportunities for cyber criminals to not only lure unsuspecting users, but also friends, colleagues and family through impersonation. These methods add to an existing list of social engineering techniques, such as financial and product promotions through e-mail and instant messenger, to extort money or trick users into downloading malicious content."
"The Security Intelligence Report also shows that worldwide detections of adware increased 70 per cent from the second quarter to the fourth quarter of 2010," he said. "The detection of a new pair of adware families, JS/Pornpop and Win32/ClickPotato, between July and September 2010 contributed significantly to this increase. ClickPotato is a programme that displays pop-up and notification-style advertisements, based on the users' browsing habits, and Pornpop is an adware family that attempts to display pop-under advertisements in users' Web browsers that usually contain adult content."
"With more consumers and devices coming online every day, cyber criminals now have more opportunities than before to deceive users through attack methods like adware, phishing and rogue security software," said analyst firm Ovum's principal analyst, Graham Titterington. "It's becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to decipher legitimate communications and promotions given the sophistication of tools criminals are using, so it's more important than ever to provide information and guidance about these online threats to increase protections and awareness."
"The software industry lead by Microsoft has significantly improved customer protections and guidance for some time now," said Microsoft's Gullotto. "These efforts are making a difference but there is more work to do. We continue to see cyber criminals evolve attack methods such as a significant rise in social network phishing."
"In Malaysia, the most common category in the fourth quarter of 2010 was Worms, which affected 35.8 per cent of all infected computers, down from 41.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2010," said Gullotto. "This was closely followed by Misc. Potentially Unwanted Software, which affected 27.5 per cent of all infected computers, an increase from 25.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2010. The third most common category in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of 2010 was Misc. Trojans, which affected 24.7 per cent of all infected computers, up from 23.0 per cent in the third quarter, 2010."
"While criminals work to evolve their attack methods, Microsoft and the industry will continue to collaborate with partners and customers to improve security and privacy and increase awareness," he said. "A combined effort helps to protect the broader online community from the threats propagating today and develop more secure software solutions to prevent criminals from reaping the benefits."
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