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Malware Peaks, China Targeted on Fortinet's April '09 Threatscape Report
Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 02:27:00 PM
Highest Malware Volumes Recorded This Year, Online Gaming Makes Asia Activity Swell

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May. 6, 2009 - Fortinet®- a market-leading network security provider and worldwide leader of unified threat management (UTM) solutions - today announced findings from its April 2009 Threatscape Report, which shows new and persistent malware faces contributing to the highest malware volumes detected this year – online gaming and adware threats largely among them. China received the brunt of this month's malware attack, doubling its share from the last report. Fortinet's FortiGuard® Global Security Research team made the following observations in April:

* Game-on for New Faces: Four new variants landed in April's Top 10 malware list, three of which were online gaming Trojans. The fourth narrowly missed the list at the eleventh position. But W32/Virut.A is still king of the hill, claiming first position for two consecutive months and building on a year-long run within the Top 10 list. Collectively, these threats formed a significant portion of April's detected activity. The lucrative marketplace created by online gaming has attracted cyber crime with haste, predominantly in China. China leap-frogged over Japan and the U.S. with a 44.86 percent global malware share, nearly doubling its 24.17 percent share from the last report.
* Waledac's Resilience: One of the most active malware families, Waledac launched a fifth campaign since the beginning of this year, serving up malicious variants disguised as SMS spying software. Waledac, like many blended threats, is multi-functional with the ability to receive and spew custom spam templates, launch denial of service attacks, and download further components. It was also spotted on Conficker's network which, in concert with its own various campaigns, has further helped this family gain momentum.
* Conficker.C Peers: As we anticipated, no significant activity occurred with Conficker.C on the much hyped April 1st date; however, soon after, Conficker.C's newly established peer-to-peer network became active. Exploit activity with MS.DCERPC.NETAPI32.Buffer.Overflow (MS08-067) picked up once again during the first week of April, returning to February levels after a significant drop in March. The drop was due to Conficker.C variants ceasing exploit activity, while the subsequent increase can be linked to several factors outside of Conficker. Over 31 percent of new vulnerabilities this period (96 in total) were reported to be actively exploited: 36 of the new vulnerabilities were rated as critical, marking a year high, up from 30 in last month's report.

"April was a busy month for cyber criminals who unleashed the most aggressive malware attacks thus far this year," said Derek Manky, project manager, cyber security and threat research, Fortinet. "We believe this upward trend will endure with online gaming attacks continuing to dominate, especially with Real Money Trading becoming a big business - now an estimated $2 billion annual market."

The FortiGuard research team compiled threat statistics and trends for April based on data collected from FortiGate® network security appliances and intelligence systems in production worldwide. Customers who use Fortinet's FortiGuard Subscription Services should already be protected against the threats outlined in this report.

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