Antivirus Review from SymantecPublished: Monday, April 4th, 2011
The latest antivirus review from leading computer security company Symantec, which develops and markets the Norton range of products, has headlined its report with the news that global spam has dropped by a third.
The Symantec antivirus review notes that the infamous Rustock botnet has been dismantled, leaving the Bagle botnet to become the most active.
It’s been estimated that prior to its fall, the Rustock botnet was responsible for nearly 30% of the world’s global spam traffic, which equates to around 14 billion spam emails a day.
But although spam levels dropped by a third, other botnet have taken the vacuum created by Rustock, notably Bagle which takes the number one position as top spammer.
Paul Wood at Symantec said:
“It remains to be seen whether the criminals behind Rustock will be able to recover from this coordinated effort against what has become one of the most technically sophisticated botnets in recent years. Rustock has been a significant part of the botnet and malware landscape since January 2006, much longer than many of its contemporaries.”
“Botnets have been and remain a destructive resource for cyber criminals and through the years have become the spammers’ air-supply, without which it would be very difficult for them to operate. Botnets are also used for other purposes such as launching distributed denial of service attacks, hosting illegal web site content on infected computers (known as bots), harvesting personal data from them and installing spyware to track the activities of their users.”
The antivirus review also reported that the number of email borne viruses is virtually static at one in 208.9 emails in the month of March. And of those infected emails, nearly 65% of them directed traffic towards malicious websites, a slight decrease on the previous year.
When it comes to phishing, there was a very slight decrease in activity in March, with one in 252.5 emails.
As for websites which might be harbouring malware, the antivirus review stated that around 3,000 websites a day are home for various malware and other unwanted programmes which included spyware and adware, although this was down an encouraging 28% since February.
Guest Article by Neil Camp