Malware attacks soar to new levels

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Malware attacks soar to new levels

The amount of malware blocked in the third quarter of this year increased by a staggering 338 per cent compared with the first quarter, according to new figures from web security firm ScanSafe.

The vendor's quarterly Global Threat Report found that corporate systems are more at risk than ever, with three-quarters of these malware blocks coming from visits to compromised web sites.

Typically this means that an SQL injection attack has been carried out on a legitimate web site which a user visits in good faith only to be infected by stealth, according to ScanSafe.

As an indication of the increasingly covert nature of attacks, incidences of backdoor Trojans and password stealing malware increased by 267 per cent over the same period.

"We did note a flattening in August and September but, if October is anything to go by, that flattening will not continue," said ScanSafe senior security researcher Mary Landesman.

"The biggest concern I saw was how hard hit energy, oil, pharmaceutical and chemicals companies were."

With the backdrop of these increasing web-based threats, security giant McAfee today launched its Initiative to Fight Cybercrime, which will include the formation of a new advisory council of independent experts and the creation of a grant programme to support those who can demonstrate success in educating about or fighting e-crime.

"While cyber-crime is becoming more organised, there have been solid, positive strides made," said Howard Schmidt, president of the Information Security Forum, in a statement.

"McAfee is bringing together people who are knowledgeable about cyber-crime and can help make a difference in this global sophisticated problem."
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