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Symantec Global internet Security threat report

  • in 2009 propagation through file-sharing executables accounted for 72 percent of malicious code that propagates—up from 66 percent in 2008.

  • the percentage of documented malicious code samples that exploit vulnerabilities increased from 3 percent in 2008 to 6 percent in 2009.

  • the top potential infections in 2009 were, in order, the Sality.AE virus, the Brisv trojan, and the SillyFDC worm.

Phishing, Underground Economy Servers, and Spam Trends Highlights

  • The majority of brands used in phishing attacks in 2009 were in the financial services sector, accounting for 74 percent, down from the 79 percent identified in 2008.

  • in 2009, Symantec detected 59,526 phishing hosts, an increase of 7 percent over 2008 when Symantec detected 55,389 phishing hosts.

  • In 2009, 36 percent of all phishing URLs identified by Symantec were located in the United States, considerably less than 2008 when 43 percent of such sites were based there.

  • the most common top-level domain used in phishing lures detected in 2009 was .com, accounting for 68 percent of the total; it was also the highest ranking top-level domain in 2008 when it accounted for 39 percent of the total.

  • the five top phishing toolkits observed by Symantec in 2009 were responsible for a combined average of 23 percent of all observed phishing attacks for the year.

  • Credit card information was the most commonly advertised item for sale on underground economy servers known to Symantec, accounting for 19 percent of all goods and services advertised; this is a decrease from 2008 when credit card information accounted for 32 percent of the total.

  • Credit card information was advertised on underground economy servers known to Symantec for $0.85 to $30 per credit card number, depending on factors such as bulk purchase sizes, rarity of the card type, and the amount of personal information bundled with the card number.

  • the United States was the top country for credit cards advertised on underground economy servers, accounting for 67 percent of the total; this is unchanged from 2008.

  • The most common type of spam detected in 2009 was related to Internet-related goods and services such as online degrees, which made up 29 percent of all detected spam; in 2008, this was also the most common type of spam, accounting for 24 percent of the total.

  • in 2009, spam made up 88 percent of all email observed by Symantec.

  • in 2009, the United States was again the top-ranked country for originating spam, with 23 percent of the global total. this is a decrease from 29 percent in 2008.

  • In 2009, bot networks were responsible for the distribution of approximately 85 percent of all spam email.

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