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McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2011

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McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2011

This edition of the McAfee Threats Report offers many of the elements of a good science fiction or cyberpunk novel: intriguing hacktivists and events, significant changes in the threats landscape, cybercrime arrests, clever new ways to compromise clever new devices, as well as the most active first quarter in malware history. Some of the most significant changes this quarter evolve around botnets and threats to messaging and mobile devices. Globally we have seen a significant reduction in spam as well as corresponding shift in botnets due to the Rustock botnet’s being taken offline. Although this is certainly good news, our research shows that many others are waiting in the wings to take its place.

Android has quickly become the third-most-targeted platform on the mobile front when viewed from a historical perspective>Malware threats to the mobile platform continue to evolve in sophistication and functionality at a pace that in many ways eclipses that of PC-based malware. The fight against cybercrime continues to rage on, with several takedowns and arrests, while hacktivism appears to have entered a period of change. Recent activities in hacktavism continue to shape the technology and information security landscape.

Malware has just posted its busiest quarter in history. Fake anti-virus software seems to be on the rise again and password-stealing Trojans are demonstrating a consistent level of activity. At the same time, Autorun malware and Koobface, though still prevalent globally, seem to be in a holding pattern. Our Global Top 5 reflect this trend.

We noted consistent search-term abuse throughout the quarter, with 49 percent of the daily search terms in the top 100 results leading to a malicious website. Our quarterly word cloud reflects the trend of malware writers, scammers, and cybercriminals, who continue to use daily events, news, sports, and celebrities as bait for their schemes. The trend of client-side exploitation continues down a very Adobe-centric path and the top spot for SQL-injection attacks has once again flip-flopped. McAfee Labs saw some interesting trends and activity in the growth of phishing websites and overall malicious websites.

Read the full McAfee Threats Report, First Quarter 2011 Report.