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Summary of virus activity - December 2003

  • 20 January, 2004 15:08

<p>David Kopp, Head of TrendLabs EMEA comments on virus activities observed by TrendLabs throughout December 2003.</p>
<p>In December 2003 Trend Micro detected around 400 new malicious codes (computer worms, viruses, Trojans and other malware). 30 percent of these malicious codes are worm-related and 30 percent are Trojan-related.</p>
<p>The new codes detected by Trend Micro illustrate that Trojans (malware that performs unexpected or unauthorised, often malicious, actions, usually disguised as a seemingly harmless application) remain a real threat for computers as they can compromise the security of these computers and of the network (if the infected computer is located into a network).</p>
<p>Why do they continue to spread? They do not have any self-replicating capabilities such as worms for instance. True to their name, Trojans are often disguised as famous games, songs, movies, characters, people and especially as computer game cracks. Users are misled into downloading a file that appears to be fun – in reality they are downloading malicious code.</p>
<p>Once again, this raises the issue that many enterprise and home computer users are still not fully aware of the real threats that are spreading over Internet, and many are not deploying sufficient virus protection against such threats.</p>
<p>Top 10 threats
If we take a look at the top ten virus threats in December, we can see that 50 percent of malicious threats are worm-related. So worms are the main threat we are currently facing.
Another interesting fact is the top five threats for December are between 3.5 and 21 months old. This shows that despite the fact that many antivirus vendors have already detections for these malicious codes, they continue to spread, illustrating that basic antivirus products alone are no longer enough. More sophisticated antivirus products with complex and complementary detection processes are needed as well as antivirus services and security policies reviews.</p>
<p>Among these top five malicious codes we see typical examples of the most frequently used technologies:</p>
<p>· Social Engineering is represented by PE_DUMARU.A and WORM_SWEN.A. that arrive as emails seemingly originating from Microsoft, (WORM_SWEN.A even imitates Microsoft's graphical charter). Thus the user is misled and has no doubt in trusting the source.
· Operating systems and application vulnerabilities exploits are represented by WORM_NACHI.A, WORM_SWEN.A, WORM_KLEZ.H. These exploits often allow auto-execution of the malware.</p>
<p>Compared to previous months (remember this hot summer!) December was quiet, by this I mean no outbreak was raised. We did not encounter any serious threats related to the Greetings Cards. But we are still monitoring any possibilities of such threats. Once again, social engineering could be used, as it has been used in the past, to mislead computer users by disguising malicious code as Christmas and Greetings cards during the festive period.</p>
<p>TrendLabs EMEA monitors suspicious actions or effects within the Europe Middle East Africa area 24/24 7/7 to ensure a high level of protection and services for our customers.</p>
<p>About Trend Micro
Trend Micro is the world leader in providing centrally controlled server-based virus protection and content-filtering products and services. By protecting information that flows through Internet gateways, email servers and file servers, Trend Micro allows companies and service providers worldwide to stop viruses and other malicious code from a central point before they enter the network. For more information visit</p>
<p>Trend Micro, and the t-ball logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Trend Micro Incorporated. All other company or product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their owners.</p>

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