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Web Threats Get Smaller, Stealthier

ScanSafe reported that global threats on the Web increased 13 percent in June, with malware creators using more tricks to slip their products into systems.

Until governments where malware writing for profit flourishes crack down hard on those writers, increases like those reported by ScanSafe will likely continue. The security company said the number of viruses on the Web grew by 13 percent last month.

“Our data indicates that virus writers are using smaller, stealthier, higher-frequency attacks,” Eldar Tuvey, CEO and co-founder, ScanSafe, said in the report. “In the past few months, we haven’t seen massive, headline-grabbing outbreaks. However, we have seen a steady stream of low-volume viruses designed to exploit the time between a virus’ initial appearance and the release of an anti-virus signature.”

Those “zero-day” releases pose an immense threat to PC users. Microsoft Windows can bring in updates when they are released, while antivirus packages can retrieve new files as needed. The problem comes when exploits hit before their cures can be developed and installed.

On the corporate side, it seems that employees help thwart the battle by IT departments against malware with their browsing activities. ScanSafe said 60 percent of companies that have deployed its Web Filtering Service report users have attempted to access high-risk, adult content sites.

Also, 58 percent have tried to reach search engines restricted by the filtering service. Unsafe sites can deliver drive-by downloads of, at best, CPU-hogging adware, at worst a Trojan keylogger or backdoor. It doesn’t look like an Internet access policy is enough for firms that do not employ a large percentage of tech-savvy personnel.

David Utter
About David Utter
David Utter is a business and technology writer for SecurityProNews and WebProNews.

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