McAfee evaluation of cybercrime in Q3 2013

McAfee evaluation of cybercrime in Q3 2013

McAfee has just unveiled its latest analysis of the main cybercrime trends for the third quarter of 2013 : it shows that cybercriminals have not taken much holiday this summer.

“During this summer, we have added  20 million of new samples in the McAfee” zoo”, which now gathers a total of 170 million elements”. We also found four major trends that require both individuals and businesses, to be careful on the way they protect their data, ” said Francois Paget, one of the McAfee Labs researchers. This includes a 30% increase of attacks on Android devices, the growth of “signed” malware, the raise of spams (+125% ) and the increased use of virtual currencies.
About rising attacks on Android, McAfee researchers have identified a new family of malware (Exploit / MasterKey.A) that allows a cyberpirate to go beyond the digital signature check of corrupted applications. They also identified a new type of malware that, once installed, downloads a second layer, without the user knowing.

“Signed” malware have also risen by 50 % over the third quarter. This concerns the validity of most digital certificates that are currently underway. They also raise questions about how companies and individuals can now distinguish the valid certificates from the corrupted ones. This trend is even stronger on mobile, growing from zero to almost 25 % of Android malware samples recorded in the last three years.

Regarding the increase of spams ( + 125 %), it was boosted in September supposedly due to the “snowshoe spammers ” or practical affiliate marketing, aimed at legitimizing a brand vis-à -vis its consumers.
Finally, about virtual currencies, a market estimated in 2012 by Yankee Group to nearly $ 47.5 billion, it still attracts more hackers. These virtual currencies (or bitcoins) undergo no regulation or control and represent an unprecedented opportunity for money laundering. They are also boosted by the development of parallel Internet markets including counterfeit drugs, arms sales, drugs purchase, etc… And although the best known of these websites, called Silk Road, was closed on October 1st , these illegal markets persist and it does not seem that they will dry up soon.

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