2006's worst security threats, trends for 2007
BitDefender has announced that the widest spread viruses in 2006 were still the ones propagated via e-mail. The top 10 of these viruses posed such a big threat that they accounted for 55 percent of the total number of infections detected by BitDefender.
According to local BitDefender distributor, Grayford Holton, the infamous Netsky virus was responsible for 13 percent of the total number of infections last year and the Nyxem.E virus came second in point of spread.
“2007 is sure to bring about an increase in e-mail-based attacks, and the recent messages related to Saddam Hussein, the storm that hit Europe or to Putin’s death have proven that the hottest news is going to become a social engineering tool.”
“Practically, hackers try to draw e-mail users’ attention so as to persuade them to open the programs received as mail attachments. Hackers will then access the PC infected in this way.”
In 2007, spam messages with attached images and no text are going to account for more than 50 percent of the total spam at global level. At the moment, most antispam solutions provide no protection against this phenomenon.
As far as malware is concerned, it will mostly consist of exploits on Office type productivity applications and on online communities such as MySpace and YouTube. These exploits can be used together with rootkit applications so as to spread spyware.
The vulnerabilities of Office type applications are going to count as the main targets for corporate attacks. Such vulnerabilities are taken advantage of and traded “underground” so as to create computer attacks that are custom made for certain victims.
Holton says 2007 will also see more and more already infected computer applications appear on the market. “In these cases, hackers pretend to be willing to contribute to users’ security while hiding viruses or spyware in the applications’ codes.”