IT security and data protection firm Sophos reports a new and unique malware threat is witnessed almost every half-second. So far this year, Sophos has been busy identifying an average of 150,000 malware cases every day. If you do your math that breaks down to one unique malware file spawned every half-second, a 60 percent increase from the prior year.
Also added to the report are 19,000 malicious website addresses being found daily, and 80 percent of those sites being legitimate ones that had been hacked or compromised. Tumblr hit the headlines when the microblogging site was being used fraudulently with scammers redirecting users to a work-at-home scam.
The threats are documented in Sophos Security Threat Report Mid-Year 2011. Detailing new threats such as search engine poisoning called Black Hat SEO, threatening business of all sizes. Cybercriminals manipulate search results on Google and Yahoo! to redirect web searchers and fool them to malicious pages.
The perpetrators hijack common search terms related to breaking news or everyday search terms relating to personal health or home-repair services, which redirect users to malicious sites that place viruses, worms, Trojans or fake anti-virus software on computers. The sad part is these hijacks are very successful.
Another noteworthy trend to mention is social media threats are steeply on the rise, although the mass scale email-focused attacks are losing ground.
Facebook users need to be vigilant and weary of the “social network’s safety, with 81 per cent of respondents to a Sophos poll saying it posed the biggest security threat of all social networks – up from 60 per cent last year.”
The ever so popular social network maintains quite a bit of personal information on users, a breeding ground for scammers and their attacks have been severe this year. The scams include cross-site scripting, clickjacking, bogus surveys and identity theft.
Of course, the solution is to maintain updated security software on your computer and keep yourself in check when it comes to being lured to clicking on a bogus survey.