Sunday, March 7, 2010

SunbeltLabs detects surge in trojans during February

Sunbelt Software's list of top malware infections seen during February claims to show that there was a sizeable surge in trojans during the month.

Compiling data from its VIPRE anti-malware software and CounterSpy, its anti-spyware application, SunBelt Labs, the firm's research arm, reported that eight of the top 10 types of malware seen during February were trojan horse programs.

New entries in the top 10 during the month were Trojan.Win32.Generic.pak!cobra, a rootkit infection; Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot.gen, a password stealing trojan; and Trojan.Win32.Agent, a fake windows service application which modifies users' PC system settings.

According to Sunbelt, there was also a surge in scareware or rogue security products.

Their continued prominence in the top 10 is also due in part to interest in sporting events such as the Winter Olympics, which has encouraged many to visit untrusted websites in search of live video from the various events at the Winter Games.

This surge in traffic to untrusted and potentially malicious websites has, says the IT security vendor, generated higher incidences of scareware, as well as conventional malware threats.

The rogues, once downloaded, present a fake malware scan of a victim's computer then display false warnings that the machine is infected. The malware then urges the user to purchase rogue security software on the promise that it will disinfect their PC, when in fact it does nothing or further infects the target computer.

Tom Kelchner, Sunbelt's research centre manager, said that, along with trojans and bot-installing malware, the spectrum of malware threats out there continues to be quite broad.

"The old standards continue to circulate online and gain increased penetration whenever Internet use peaks, as with events such as the recent Winter Olympics", he said.

"Adware and its associated malcode bundlers, downloaders and installers don't make the news much anymore, but collectively they make up 10% of our ThreatTrack detections", he added.

According to Kelchner, during the month of February, ThreatTrack tabulated over 1,100 discrete adware threats.

The trend of scareware will, says Sunbelt, increase as the world heads towards the 2010 World Cup in June. infosecurity

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