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PandaLabs: Trojans, the leading cyber-threat in 2007

January 2008 by Panda Security

Trojans were responsible for 25.83% of infections recorded by ActiveScan, the online scanner from Panda Security, during 2007. This type of malicious code accounted for 77.40% of the new malware that appeared last year. This represents a dramatic increase on 2006, when Trojans represented some 50% of new malicious code. In fact, according to PandaLabs, the appearance of new strains of this type of malware has increased fivefold every six months.

According to data from PandaLabs, these malicious codes accounted for 25.83% of malware detected by ActiveScan and 77.40% of new malware that appeared over the last year

The first seven months of the year witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of computers infected by active malware

The dominance of Trojans also continued during December, when this type of malicious code accounted for 25.92% of infections detected by ActiveScan.

Trojans are a key part of the current cyber-crime model. This is because they are ideal for exploiting infections financially, which is now the prime aim of criminals on the Internet”, explains Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

With 25.39% of infections detected by ActiveScan, adware was the second most active type of malicious code in 2007. This type of malware was also second in terms of the number of new strains created, accounting for 11.20% of the total.

Worms, on the other hand, were the culprits of 7.99% of infections detected in 2007 by ActiveScan and 9.21% of new malware created. This represents the biggest drop for a category of malware with respect to 2006, as in that year they accounted for 23.21% of new malware.

With respect to the main families of malicious code (groups with similar or identical characteristics), in 2007, the main protagonist has been the Downloader Trojan family, used to download malware onto computers. Specifically, a Trojan from this family, Downloader.MDW, heads the list of the most active specific strains of malware during the last half of 2007.

The backdoor Trojan Hupigon, designed to offer remote control of affected computers, and the Banker, Nabload and Banbra banker Trojans were other families that stood out in 2007.

Active malware

Data gathered through the website ‘Infected or Not’ (http://www.infectedornot.com) shows how during the first seven months of 2007 there was a dramatic increase in the number of computers infected with active malware, that is, malware that is operating at the moment the computer is scanned. The figure rose from some 10% of infected computers in January, to 19.58% when it peaked in July. From then on, the figure remained at over 18%.

In July, Mexico was the country with the highest percentage of computers infected by active malware, with some 26.39% of all scanned computers affected. Taiwan with 25.41% and France with 24.08%, were in second and third place.




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