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Cyber-crime round-up

Cybercriminals seek to steal personal and financial information from individuals and organisations of all sizes. That is according to the security round-up report for the second quarter of 2012 released by the global cloud security product company Trend Micro Incorporated.



Among the examples of what the IT firm calls increasingly focused attacks were the 142 million threats which were blocked from infecting small businesses as of the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 27 per cent quarter on quarter. The report also outlines increasingly sophisticated attacks against individuals in the form of ATS attacks. Large organisations weren’t exempt either: the IXSHE campaign showed cyber-criminals stepping up their tactics to gain access to large multinational corporations without notice.


Cybercriminals are continuing to cast their net widely in large-scale attacks using newer, more lethal methods. Police Trojan Attacks and the Black Hole Exploit Kit continue to target desktop systems while newer platforms such as Android are seeing an explosion in malicious apps. Social media wasn’t exempt as cyber-criminals jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon bringing tried-and-true scams to the latest social networking craze. The goal is the same: to get personal data and financial information.


Rik Ferguson, director of security research and communication, Trend Micro said: “The reason why criminals are focusing their attacks on stealing personal data is simple. It’s the sheer volume of people working from multiple devices that leaves them vulnerable to attacks. While Trend Micro has been integral in working with authorities to break up a number of cybercriminal rings over the last year, these cybercriminals have acquired new techniques and tools from collaborating with one another to accelerate their ‘industry.’ The fact is: business is booming for cybercrime and everyone needs to take notice.”


Trends in Q2 2012:


25,000 Android malware apps have been identified as of the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 317pc over the number of samples found in the first quarter of 2012, which is compounded against the fact that Trend Micro has seen only one in five Android devices with a security app installed


Ransomware attacks that track a victim’s geographic location, holds the system captive and scares the victim into revealing personal information by using the victim’s local police force as a threat


More sophisticated attack tools, like the automatic transfer systems, allow criminals to steal banking information when they are not online


Organisation of tried-and-true attack methods, such as the Blackhole Exploit Kit, offers technical support for criminals looking to collect personal financial information


The IXESHE malware targeted enterprises primarily in East Asia, with the number of C&C servers in Taiwan equaling those in the US.


Pinterest has become the social media platform of choice among criminals; the top five social engineering lures being used across all social networking sites are: Diablo 3, Instagram Android, Angry Birds Space, London 2012 Olympics and Tibet.

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Small Business Is Big Business in Cybercrime


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