McAfee Threats Report:Fourth Quarter 2011– 2st Section

Date: 2012-03-13
The McAfee Labs has studied the security threats of the final quarter of 2011 in a report. The following report is briefing that report.
Messaging Threats

At the end of 2011, global spam reached its lowest point in years. This phenomenon is reflected in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and South Korea, all of which are at their lowest points since 2007. Meanwhile the United States and Germany, to name two, experienced slight increases. Despite the drop in global levels, spearphishing and spam are as dangerous as ever. Remember that although the numbers are declining, the threat level and sophistication remains high.

Botnet breakdowns

Overall botnet growth rebounded in November and December after falling since August. Brazil, Columbia, India, Spain, and the United States saw significant increases. Germany, Indonesia, and Russia, on the other hand, declined.

Web Threats
Websites can gain bad or malicious reputations for a variety of reasons. Reputations can be based on full domains and any number of subdomains, as well as on a single IP address or even a specific URL. Malicious reputations are influenced by the hosting of malware, potentially unwanted programs, or phishing sites. Often we observe combinations of questionable code and functionality. These are several of the factors that contribute to our rating of a site’s reputation.

In the third quarter McAfee Labs recorded an average of 6,500 new bad sites per day; in this quarter that figure shot up to 9,300 hits. We also noticed that about one in every 400 URLs we attempted to load were malicious; some days that number was one in every 200 URLs!

The vast majority of new malicious sites are located in the United States. Next in line, we find the Netherlands, Canada, South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China. In the previous quarter, the top eight countries were the same though not in quite the same order.
The number of websites hosting malicious URLs, a combination of bad downloads and browser exploits, continued their steady pace.
The number of websites delivering malware and potentially unwanted programs grew noticeably this quarter, with an average of around 6,500 new sites per day, compared with 3,500 per day during the third quarter.

Phishing sites showed a slight drop, as we identified approximately 2,200 new phishing URLs per daycompared with 2,700 per day during the prior quarter.

Related Link:

McAfee Threats Report:Fourth Quarter 2011– 1st Section


McAfee Threats Report: Fourth Quarter 2011

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