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Symantec Global internet Security threat report

these kits have gained enough popularity among cybercriminals that competition and new business models have arisen. For example, the SpyEye kit, in addition to stealing information, also has the ability to detect if a computer already has Zeus installed and, if so, to intercept its communications.24 in another example, the Fragus exploit kit contains mechanisms to prevent buyers from reselling their copies of it.25

A side effect of these kits is the creation of tens of thousands of new malicious code variants that may only each be seen by a single user. in 2009, Symantec observed nearly 90,000 unique variants of binary files created by the Zeus toolkit. Approximately 57 percent of threat instances that Symantec protected its customers from via reputation-based techniques corresponded to singletons.26 this suggests that security technologies that rely on signatures should be complemented with heuristics, behavioral monitoring techniques, and reputation-based security.

the lowering of barriers for neophyte attackers to enter into the cybercrime realm is evident in the increase in malicious code that steals confidential information. For example, the percentage of threats to confidential information that incorporate remote access capabilities increased to 98 percent in 2009, from 83 percent in 2008 (figure 2). One reason for the popularity of this attack vector is that there is an increasing number of people performing online banking. For instance, in the United Kingdom and France, more than 50 percent of internet users perform online banking, while in Canada the number rises to 60 percent.27 in the United States, eight out of 10 online households now bank online.28 in addition, with the availability of online banking continuing to grow, there is no shortage of potential victims. these factors helped to contribute to the over $120 million in reported losses due to online banking fraud reported in the third quarter of 2009.29

Percentage of exposure threats

Allows remote access

Exports user data

Exports email addresses

Keystroke logger

Exports system data

98%

83%

89%

78%

78%

86%

65%

76%

72%

61%

2008

2009

Period

Figure 2. Threats to confidential information, by type Source: Symantec

24 25 26 27 28 29

http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/spyeye-bot-versus-zeus-bot http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/fragus-exploit-kit-changes-business-model Singletons are file instances that are seen on only one computer. See http://www.ukpayments.org.uk/media_centre/press_releases/-/page/871/ and http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=2524 https://www.javelinstrategy.com/research/brochures/brochure-150 http://ecommerce-journal.com/news/27287_online-banking-fraud-hovered-120-million-third-quarter-2009-fdci-reports

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