As Macs continue to rise in popularity, they are becoming victims of cyber-crime, a report reveals.
malware" is continuing to grow at an alarming rate, according to a new report
that provides insight, background and analysis on the trends and developments
in the global threat landscape by Internet and mobile security provider AVG
the second quarter, AVG's Threat Labs saw an increase in the number of stolen
digital certificates used to sign malware, before being distributed by hackers.
An increase of more than 300 percent was identified at the start of 2011,
compared with the whole of 2010. The "Community Powered Threat Report-Q2 2011"
noted that the practice of trusting signed files is rapidly losing its
Macs continue to rise in popularity, they are increasingly becoming victims of
cyber-crime, the report revealed. With the platform reaching crucial market
share levels, it is starting to appear on the radar of cyber-criminals. "While
it may be a new target platform, cyber-criminals are using tried and tested
social engineering techniques to attack Mac OS users," the report said.
cyber-crooks are using mobile malware to monetize using premium SMS and fake
apps, according to AVG, as monetizing techniques via mobile are much easier to
operate than those in use on the PC. By spamming users to download apps or
simply posting them on download stores or markets, the software distribution
has become easy and scalable. The AVG Threat Labs investigated the operation of
702 Command and Control servers in the first half of 2011. The research results
match the geo location of the servers as well as the popularity of the various
malware versions in use by each C&C. The United States holds the lead in
Command and Control Servers with 30 percent of the market share, followed by
Ukraine with 22 percent.
U.S. still remains the dominant source of spam, with English as the main
language used in spam messages, followed by the U.K., with Brazil coming in
third. However, Brazil is rapidly closing that gap and is on course to overtake
the U.K., likely in the next quarter.
report also found 11.3 percent of malware is using external hardware devices
(like flash drives) as a distribution method (AutoRun). In addition, the report
said Blackhole remains the most prevalent exploit toolkit in the wild,
accounting for 75.83 percent of toolkits, and exploit toolkits are responsible
for 37 percent of all threat activity. Nearly 33 percent of spam messages
originated from the U.S., followed by the United Kingdom with 3.9 percent.
World Wide Web might as well be re-branded as the World Wild Web. Our research
indicates that hundreds of live servers operating around the world are active
24/7 to steal users' credentials for online banking and other private assets,"
said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer at AVG Technologies. "As attack
techniques of hackers continue to get more advanced, users need to take action.
Security products, with multilayers of protection are a must-have to protect
against the potentially damaging threats that lurk on the Web. The user's
computer platform is becoming irrelevant for these cyber-criminals-Windows,
Android, Mac and iOS are all targeted now."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.