PandaLabs Cites Videos, Installers, Cracks and Social Media as Most Popular Baits Used by Hackers
ORLANDO, Fla., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — PandaLabs, the anti-malware laboratory of Panda Security, The Cloud Security Company, has released a study on the nature of malware-infected websites that were blocked by the company’s antivirus solutions in Q1 2011. According to the research, 25 percent of sites used video and multimedia content as bait; 21.63 percent referred to installers or program updates; 16.53 percent claimed to contain cracks and keygens and 16 percent were social media URLs.
A crack is a small software application that serializes a piece of commercial software and enables users to operate any software application. It also enables hackers to illegally modify software, such as remove protectors like the trial/demo version, serial number, CD checks and any other software protection method.
“Users continue to fall victim to malicious links offering to take them to an exciting video or the new episode of their favorite TV show. This technique has become a weapon of choice for hackers as it requires minimum investment and attracts a large number of victims,” said Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs. “Most of these sites download Trojans onto users’ computers without their knowledge. Therefore, a good security solution capable of blocking them proactively is extremely helpful for users who, in most cases, can’t distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘malicious’ websites.”
eBooks are in fifth place on the list comprising 5.25 percent of occurrences, followed by Peer-to-peer (P2P) downloads and adult content. The ranking rounds out with sites offering software programs, operating systems, browsers, videogames and antivirus software (all of them used in less than three percent of cases). For detailed graphical analysis of these ranking, please visit: http://press.pandasecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/URLTable.jpg and http://press.pandasecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/URLGraph.jpg
Most Blocked URLs in Q1
The three most blocked sites by Panda Security in Q1 2011 were three Brazilian web pages. The first was a video released by the Japanese consulate showing the rescue of a group of tsunami survivors; the second, a video supposedly showing a short circuit causing the death of 15 people; and the third supposedly contains footage of a police officer being fired because of his Internet activities.
“Attackers exploit hot topics and users’ morbid curiosity,” explained Corrons. “Who isn’t interested in watching the latest footage of such a devastating natural disaster as Japan’s recent earthquake?”
The study shows user preferences in relation to the malware lures used. When taking a look at P2P applications, Panda found that the most popular program is Ares, followed by Torrent and eMule. As for social networks, Facebook tops the list ahead of Messenger, Tuenti and MySpace.
The most searched for operating system is Windows, followed by Mac and Linux. Finally, Explorer still dominates the web browser market, with Firefox and Chrome trailing behind.
“There are no hidden secrets when it comes to finding out if a website is legitimate or not, but it is becoming increasingly complicated for users to differentiate them. Unfortunately, many users don’t know if their security system is good enough to protect their systems, which is where a lot of these problems originate,” said Corrons.
Panda offers users Panda Cloud Antivirus, a free tool to get a ‘second opinion’ on the health status of computers. Panda Cloud Antivirus scans PCs thoroughly even if other antivirus programs are installed.
More information is available from the PandaLabs Blog.
Since 1990, PandaLabs, Panda Security’s malware research laboratory, has been working to detect and classify malware in order to protect consumers and companies against new Internet threats. To do so, PandaLabs uses Collective Intelligence, a cloud-based proprietary system that leverages the knowledge gathered from Panda’s user community to automatically detect, analyze and classify the more than 63,000 new malware strains that appear every day. This automated malware classification is complemented through the work of an international team with researchers specialized each in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and other attacks) to provide global coverage. Get more information about PandaLabs and subscribe to its blog news feed at http://www.pandalabs.com. Follow Panda on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Panda_Security and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PandaSecurity.
SOURCE Panda Security