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MEDIA RELEASE: McAfee AVERT reports top threats for Q2 2005

  • 12 July, 2005 11:39

<p>Researchers Identify BOTS, Adware and Malware as Predominant Threats for the Second Quarter of 2005</p>
<p>SYDNEY, July 12, 2005 – McAfee, Inc., the leader in Intrusion Prevention and Security Risk Management today announced the most commonly reported malicious threats and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) affecting enterprises and consumers in the second quarter of 2005, identified by McAfee AVERT, the company’s Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team. McAfee AVERT reports that BOTS, adware and spyware continue to be major concerns for consumers and enterprises around the globe.</p>
<p>BOTS in particular continue to plague enterprise companies and home users because of their ability to inconspicuously take over a user’s computer and remain hidden while they launch their malicious attacks. McAfee AVERT has seen an obvious increase in attempted machine hijackings.</p>
<p>“In just the first and second quarters of 2005, the number of exploited machines using backdoor techniques has increased over 63% from the total at the end of 2004,” stated Allan Bell, Marketing Director, Asia Pacific for McAfee, Inc. “This often resulted in spyware and adware being downloaded onto affected systems. Thus spyware has continued to be a major problem. Consumers and enterprises are becoming more and more aware of the need for various security technologies to protect their machines and networks.”</p>
<p>Major Threats for Q2, 2005:</p>
<p>The top malicious threats in Q2 are listed alphabetically and identified by the McAfee AVERT name schema:</p>
<p>· W32/Mytob.gen@MM</p>
<p>· Exploit-Byteverify</p>
<p>· W32/Netsky.q@MM</p>
<p>· W32/Mydoom.BG@MM</p>
<p>In addition, there was an increase in Bagle downloaders, which in some cases released as many as eight variants in the duration of a few hours. McAfee, Inc. continued to expand its vulnerability and exploit analysis into Q2 of 2005. Once again the vulnerabilities reported in Q2 of 2005 exceeded 1000 on various platforms. This is roughly 5% greater than those reported in Q2 of 2004.</p>
<p>Top BOTs for Q2, 2005:</p>
<p>The number of BOT-related cases increased by 303% from Q1 to Q2 2005 (from just over 3000 cases to just under 13000). BOT families that account for this increase include:</p>
<p>· Mytobs</p>
<p>· Gaobots</p>
<p>· Sdbots</p>
<p>· Polybots</p>
<p>Top Potentially Unwanted Programs for Q2, 2005:</p>
<p>The following, while not malicious threats, are the most commonly reported potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) identified by McAfee technology and reported by customers to AVERT. The following PUPs are listed alphabetically:</p>
<p>· Adware-180Solutions</p>
<p>· Adware-abetterintrnt</p>
<p>· Adware-BB</p>
<p>· Adware-dfc</p>
<p>· Adware-GAIN</p>
<p>· Adware-ISTbar.b</p>
<p>· Adware-RBlast.dldr</p>
<p>· Downloader-kl</p>
<p>· IPSentry</p>
<p>· RemoteSpy</p>
<p>Adware and Spyware:</p>
<p>Adware has become a major concern for both consumers and enterprises and continues to rise. McAfee AVERT saw a 12% increase in the number of new PUPs created in Q2 2005 from Q1 2005. Continuing a recent trend, several Mytob variants dropped hundreds of adware files, including components of Adware-180Solutions, Adware-BB, Adware-DFC, Adware-ISTbar, Adware-Sidefind, Adware-ExactSearch, Adware-abetterintrnt and Adware-SAHAgent.</p>
<p>In addition to new emerging and more harmful threats, McAfee also noticed an increase in money making cyber crime schemes. According to a recent Gartner report, threats are moving toward databases, allowing hackers to gain complete control over a network or a personal computer. In turn, this allows the hacker to hijack confidential and personal information for ransom. The McAfee Virtual Criminology Report: North American Study into Organised Crime and the Internet report (released July 6 of this year) suggests there is a new hierarchy of cybercriminals, and each level, from amateur to professional, has different tactics and motives.</p>
<p>The most interesting development in recent years is cyber gangs, who sit at the top of this cybercrime chain. These advanced groups of career criminals and hackers agree to cooperate, plan and execute long term attack strategies that are of little interest to the socially-motivated hacker or script kiddy. With the increasing sophistication of cybercrime, from phishing to social engineering and internet scams, the report raises awareness of how organised crime and cybercrime are developing and how businesses and individuals can protect themselves against criminal activity.</p>
<p>Mobile Viruses Remain a Growing Threat: Researchers discovered a technique for compromising Bluetooth authentication protocol and potentially gaining control of Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, even when the handsets have security features switched on. The technique allows an attacker with specialised equipment to connect to a Bluetooth handset without authorisation. Once the connection is established, the attacker could potentially gain access to resources of the handset to make calls on the target's handset, siphon off data, or access data services via compromised handset.</p>
<p>AVERT Recommendations</p>
<p>In an effort to address the above threats and malicious programs, McAfee AVERT recommends both enterprises and consumers constantly stay updated with the latest DATs, install the latest patches, employ current spam filters and implement a multi-layered approach to detecting and blocking attacks. For more information and solutions that can help enterprises and consumers ensure constant security protection, please visit</p>
<p>McAfee AVERT Labs is one of the top-ranked anti-virus and vulnerability research organisations in the world, employing researchers in fourteen countries on five continents. McAfee AVERT combines world-class malicious code and anti-virus research with intrusion prevention and vulnerability research expertise from the McAfee IntruShield, McAfee Entercept and McAfee Foundstone Professional Services organisations. McAfee AVERT protects customers by providing cures that are developed through the combined efforts of McAfee AVERT researchers and McAfee AVERT AutoImmune technology, which applies advanced heuristics, generic detection, and ActiveDAT technology to generate cures for previously undiscovered viruses.</p>
<p>About McAfee, Inc.</p>
<p>McAfee, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California and the global leader in Intrusion Prevention and Security Risk Management, delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that secure systems and networks around the world. With its unmatched security expertise and commitment to innovation, McAfee empowers home users, businesses, the public sector, and service providers with the ability to block attacks, prevent disruptions, and continuously track and improve their security.</p>
<p>NOTE: McAfee, AVERT, Entercept, IntruShield, and Foundstone are either registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. The colour red in connection with security is distinctive of McAfee brand products. All other registered and unregistered trademarks herein are the sole property of their respective owners. ©2005 McAfee, Inc. All Rights Reserved.</p>
<p>For further media information, please contact:</p>
<p>Natalie Connor</p>
<p>Tel: +61 (0)2 9956 5733</p>

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