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M86 Security Labs: Spread of Malware Growing via Social Media Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 February 2012 13:10

M86 Security has released its latest bi-annual M86 Security Labs Report, which details a significant growth in cybercrime via sophisticated targeted attacks and social media scams as well as a rise in malicious email attachments despite a four-year low in spam volumes last year.

Investigating the Web and email threat trends in the second half of 2011 for its bi-annual report, M86 Security Labs analyzed spam and malware activity, including the current use of exploit kits, fraudulent digital certificates and social networking schemes, and tracked global Internet security trends. The M86 Security Labs noted that while spam levels have declined, the proportion of malicious spam has increased from 1% to 5% in the last half of the year.

"We already know that cybercriminals have become adept at circumventing mainstream security solutions, and as we find more fraud perpetrated through social networking sites and mobile devices, it is imperative for organizations to educate their users and complement their reactive protection with proactive, real-time technologies to enhance their security posture," said Bradley Anstis, Vice President of Technical Strategy, M86 Security. "Many of the trends we forecast in our 2011 predictions report, such as the increased use of stolen digital certificates in targeted attacks, have occurred. Our goal is to help organizations preempt these complex attacks before malware has a chance to infiltrate networks and cause very real damage."

It is now mainstream practice for spammers to use bogus social media notifications to dupe users into clicking on infected links. Perhaps even more troubling is the success with which cybercriminals capitalize on user trust and familiarity to make Facebook, for example, a conduit for spam and malware propagation. Many of these campaigns are spread virally by enticing users to share posts for "rewards" or "gift cards" with their friends. []


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