Cyberoam reports an increase in real-time and mobile malware threats

“With great Internet penetration, come great Internet Threats”.

Cyberoam, along with partner Commtouch recently released its October 2013 Internet Threats Trend Report. The report lists findings on the web malware and spam trends for the third quarter (July-September 2013).

Web malware

As Internet penetration continues to rise in India, crossing 200 Mn Internet users as per recent reports, Internet threats also continue to increase. According to the report, malware campaigns that use topical or recent news and events to capture the attention of victims are on a steady rise.

The ‘Real-Time Malware campaigns’ now start as early as just 22 hours after the news event. These attacks capitalized on topics such as the royal baby Prince George, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and the Syria crisis. Infact, in case of the Syria crisis, the malware distributors went to the extent of actually inventing news, sending fake emails with subject line “The United States Began Bombing” made to appear like a real CNN update.

Other email malwares included mails sent in the name of big brands and companies, like ‘Gift Coupon’ from Apple or ‘Meal Coupon’ from Burger King or KFC. These emails either have a malicious attachment or a link to an infected website.

While these emails capture the victims’ interest, the actual malware is downloaded from compromised websites if a user clicks on the link in the malicious email. The report claims Travel as the top category of websites most likely to be compromised with malware, followed by Transportation, Business, Sports, and Leisure & Recreation.   

Mobile Malware

Mobile malware is also on the rise, after a decline at the start of the year. Among the top 5 Android threats detected by Comm touch’s Mobile Security, 3 are adwares used to collect information about the user and the phone as well as to display ads as notifications without user’s consent. The rest two are more damaging trojans, capable of downloading and installing further malware or apps that will cost the user money.

Spam trend

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On the other hand, spam levels continued to drop, from 89 Bn spam emails in Q2 to 69 Bn in Q3. Major spam topics include diet products, stock spam, pharmacy products and dating.

Most spam mails are sent by email zombies- compromised computers which can be used to perform malicious tasks from remote locations by hackers without the owner’s knowledge. India has the maximum number of spam sending bots in the world, with a share of 13.2%.

However, these spams primarily originate from Belarus, with a share of 6.7%, followed by the US with 6.4% and India with 6.4% among the top 3, cites the report.

Phishing trend

As per the report, phishing sites saw an increase of almost 35% in Q3, with approximately 750 new PayPal phishing sites every day. The top categories of legitimate websites possibly infected by phishing pages include Free Web Pages, Education, Sports, Business, and Computers & Technology.

To read the full report, click here.

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