MIDDLE EAST, Nov. 5, 2009 – Fortinet® – a market-leading network security provider and worldwide leader of unified threat management (UTM) solutions – today announced its October 2009 Threatscape report revealed the highest level of total malware detected in more than a year and four times greater than detected levels from the September Threatscape report.

Mirroring the danger in last period’s report, scareware tactics reached
an all-time peak this month, with the worst attacks ever reported. In
total, the seven malware variants listed in the top 10 malware list all
point back to scareware, proving these attacks are occurring fast, hard
and often. This unwelcomed news is in addition to recent scareware
campaigns observed in the form of botnets, corrupted advertisements and
SEO attacks. Key highlights of the October Threatscape report include:

  • Scareware celebrates Halloween and masks malicious intent:
    Extending threat activity from September, scareware again dominates this
    period in the form of rogue security software, posing as the security
    suite AntiVirus Pro 2010. Users are schemed into purchasing the software
    to resolve their alleged problems, while more dangerous implications
    unfold: downloaders contact a remote server in order to obtain malicious
    payload and receive updated copies. Other components may be bundled
    with scareware, such as ransomware and bot agents; once an infection
    makes its way onto a system, the floodgates open up for cybercriminals.
    Such scareware activity pushed the pesky Virut and Netsky out of the top
    10 malware list for the first time in over a year.
  • Botnets make headway: The Trojan downloader Bredolab joined forces
    with scareware downloaders this period to add another element of
    surprise. Similar to the scareware framework, Bredolab reports to its
    network in order to obtain the latest components to download and this
    month downloaded the AntiVirus Pro 2010 installers. Through this
    download chain, Bredolab was also linked up to the notorious ZBot
    keylogger, bringing both a dangerous information-siphoning Trojan and a
    nasty scareware product together – a potent mix of threats, each one
    linking to different control sites. The two main Bredolab variants
    detected this month were W32/Bredo.G and W32/Bredolab.X, most notably
    included in fake DHL invoice spam campaigns.
  • Affiliates extend scareware reach: No doubt scareware was the
    chart topper this month and the high threat levels can be attributed in
    part to the popular money-making affiliate programs that tempt
    participants with a handsome pay-out on each software download
    purchased. Tools and kits are readily available to participating
    affiliates, accelerating the distribution of scareware and other
    malicious components.

“We’re seeing record levels of scareware building off volume from
September, and the danger in these threats is only becoming more serious
as the methods for delivery evolve and the blending of attacks bring
more complexity,” said Derek Manky, project manager, cyber security and
threat research, Fortinet. “As we’ve seen in the consistency of repeated
threats, the old schemes are still proving to be good methods.
Enterprises and consumers must take equal responsibility in
understanding the disguises of these threats and implementing a
multi-pronged security solution that addresses the different and
changing characteristics of tried and true tactics.”

FortiGuard Labs compiled threat statistics and trends for October based
on data collected from FortiGate® network security appliances and
intelligence systems in production worldwide. Customers who use
Fortinet’s FortiGuard Subscription Services should already be protected
against the threats outlined in this report.

To read the full October Threatscape report, which includes the top
threat rankings in each category, please visit:
http://www.fortiguard.com/report/roundup_october_2009.html. For ongoing
threat research, bookmark the FortiGuard Center
(http://www.fortiguardcenter.com/) or add it to your RSS feed by going
to http://www.fortinet.com/FortiGuardCenter/rss/index.html. Additional
discussion on security technologies and threat analysis can be found at
the FortiGuard Blog at http://blog.fortinet.com. To learn more about
FortiGuard Subscription Services, visit
FortiGuard Subscription Services offer broad security solutions
including antivirus, intrusion prevention, Web content filtering and
anti-spam capabilities. These services help enable protection against
threats on both application and network layers. FortiGuard Services are
updated by FortiGuard Labs, which enables Fortinet to deliver a
combination of multi-layered security intelligence and zero-day
protection from new and emerging threats. For customers with a
subscription to FortiGuard, these updates are delivered to all
FortiGate, FortiMail™ and FortiClient™ products.

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