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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Automative overtakes Education in February spam rating - Report


February Intelligence Report of the Symantec Corporation has revealed that automotive sector has surpassed education sector in excess of three per cent spam rate.

The latest of this report made available to ITRealms Online, showed that as at the time of reporting, which is last month, February ending, that automotive sector recorded spam rate of 70.9 per cent, while education has 70.6 per cent spam rate.

Symantec also discovered that spam rate for the Chemical and Pharmaceutical sector was 68.9 per cent, and when compared with 68.4 per cent for Information Technology (IT) Services, 68.6 per cent for Retail, 68.5 per cent for Public Sector and 68.0 percent for Finance.

This, according to the report has shown that businesses are being targeted with emails purporting to originate from the US Better Business Bureau, socially engineered to suggest that a complaint had been filed against the organization and the details of the complaint could be found in the file attachment, which would lead to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file that contains an embedded executable or a universal resource locator (URL) that leads to the malware.

Reacting to this development, the Security Intelligent Manager at Symantec, Mr. Paul Wood noted that, these attacks are reminiscent of similar incidents that were first reported in 2007, when C-level business executives were being targeted with emails that purported to originate from the US Better Business Bureau (BBB).

The new wave of attacks bear similar social engineering techniques to the 2007 attacks, although recently the attackers are using considerably more advanced techniques, including server-side polymorphism, making them especially protean in nature.

“Server-side polymorphism enables the attacker to generate a unique strain of malware for each use, in order to evade detection by traditional anti-virus security software. Scripts such as Personal Home Page (PHP) are commonly used on the attacker’s Web site to generate the malicious code on-the-fly,” he identified.

Mr. Wood also stated that like the Greek sea-god, Proteus, the continually transforming nature of these attacks makes them very difficult to recognize and detect using more traditional signature-based defenses.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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