Cyber criminals exploit top social events
Dubai, April 18, 2012
Top socially visible events of the first quarter of 2012 gave cyber criminals new social-engineering campaign material, equipping them to penetrate and infect users and networks in order to access victim’s data, a report said.
Linsanity, Whitney Houston’s death, and sociopolitical upheavals were some of the events around the world that provided new fodder for this quarter’s cybercrime campaigns, added the Trend Micro Q1 2012 Security Roundup Report.
The report also noted that cybercriminals who launch APTs will often keep track of the different attacks within a campaign in order to determine which individual attack compromised a specific victim’s network.
The Luckycat campaign, in particular, attacked a diverse set of targets using a variety of malware, some of which have been linked to other cyber-espionage campaigns.
“Cyber crime is a multibillion dollar industry and the criminals have the resources to develop more and more sophisticated attacks. We must be prepared for this, and Trend Micro has always stressed that educating our users and helping them to develop their skills, especially here in the Middle East is an integral part of mitigating these threats,” said Nick Black, technical manager, Med, Middle East and Africa, Trend Micro.
“In addition, choosing a security partner that understands and has the ability to deal with threats on a daily basis, without disrupting every day business operation is vital.
Businesses and individuals need to realise that getting the cheapest security solution is not a sound strategy – many times you get what you pay for, and the consequences can be disastrous,” he added,
Cybercriminals are capitalizing on the growth of Android users who use their smartphones to gain Internet access. Trend Micro identified approximately 5000 new malicious Android apps in the first quarter, the report said.
Apple surpassed Oracle, Google and Microsoft in reported vulnerabilities, with a total of 91. Oracle came in second, with 78; Google, 73; Microsoft, 43. Apart from posting the highest number of reported vulnerabilities, Apple also issued a record-breaking number of patches last March.
New social networking site, Pinterest, gained not just popularity but also notoriety. Site users were drawn into “re-pinning” a Starbucks logo to get supposed gift cards but instead got malware, the report noted.
This quarter’s top spam-sending countries included: India (20 per cent), Indonesia (13 per cent), South Korea (12 per cent), and Russia (10 per cent).
During this quarter, the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network, a cloud computing infrastructure, protected Trend Micro customers against a total of: 15.3 billion spam, 338.4 thousand malware, and 1.3 billion malicious URLs, the report said. – TradeArabia News Service