Android, Facebook Seeing Increased Cyberattacks

AVG Technologies, a provider of internet and mobile security, today launched its “AVG Community Powered Threat Report -- Q1 2011,” providing insight and background on the trends and developments in the world of online threats.

The trend in Q1-2011 is revealed to be an explosive increase in the overall number of global attacks. Within this, the most notable developments were a major increase in malicious campaigns which exploited the viral nature of Facebook users, which have increased threefold in the last 12 months.

A further area of significant concern is an explosion in Blackhole Exploit Kits, used by criminals to coordinate attacks. During one week in February 2011, Blackhole attacks jumped from a few hundred per day to an overwhelming 800,000 in a day. This activity, combined with soaring levels of Android malware, is marking an increased professionalism in the structure and operations of the organized criminals behind them.

The United States is still the dominant source of spam with English as the main language used in spam messages. However, with a Brazilian ISP as the most used internet provider and Portuguese as the second language, Brazil is a clear runner up.

With smartphones becoming more like computers, the first quarter saw a notable increase in risk for smartphone users and the Android platform in particular; AVG blocked an average of 100,000 spam and phishing text messages per day.

The open source nature of the OS as well as the open-garden approach in allowing users to install software on the mobile device opens the door for hackers to write malicious code. This is why Android users should install additional security solutions such as AVG Mobilation for Android which is helping prevent users from downloading over 10,000 infected applications a day.

“The increasing professionalism behind some of the threats clearly demonstrates the profit that can be made,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer with AVG Technologies. “These campaigns are well planned and well funded; therefore, they demand not only for very effective counter technical measures but also for the need to raise awareness among the average user.

“A Latvian gang was able to bring 600 attack servers online for just a couple of weeks in a highly targeted Blackhole attack. This resulted in over 800,000 detections per day by our servers. If this amount of investment apparently pays off for these gangs, others will probably follow soon.”

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