Sophos identifies most common spam threats worldwide

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Sophos, a company specializing in IT security and control, found the most common spam threats causing problems for computer users around the world during August 2007.

The Top 10 list of Web-based malware threats in August 2007 includes:

1. Mal/Iframe 47.8 percent

2. Mal/ObfJS 17.7 percent

3. Troj/Decdec 14.0 percent

4. Troj/Fujif 4.3 percent

5. Mal/EncPk 2.5 percent

6. Troj/Psyme 2.2 percent

7. Mal/Packer 1.1 percent

8. Troj/Pintadd 1.0 percent

9. VBS/Redlof 0.7 percent

10. Mal/Behav 0.5 percent

Others 8.2 percent

These figures were compiled by Sophos's global network of monitoring stations.

According to the figures, there has been a significant drop in malware spreading in the form of e-mail attachments, with just one infected message in every 1,000 e-mails in August, compared to one in 322 during the first six months of 2007.

Spam continues to be a problem - much of it linking to malicious Web sites aimed at infecting users.

Users are directed to infected Web pages offering e-cards, pictures of nude celebrities, YouTube movies and pop music videos. People visiting these sites are running the risk of having their PCs infected by malicious code, which can then steal personal information, spam out more malware and junk e-mail, or launch distributed denial of service attacks.

The total number of infected Web pages continues to grow, according to Sophos. However, it is growing at a slightly slower rate than the month before.

During August, Sophos detected an average of 5,000 new infected Web pages each day, compared to 6,000 in July.

There was also a sharp spike in spam activity in the middle of August due to one of the world's largest-ever single spam campaigns, which was designed to manipulate stock prices.

Mal/Iframe and ObfJS have retained their positions at the top of the chart, while Decdec has crept up to third place, accounting for 14 percent of this month's Web-based malware, which is up 11 percent from July.

The Top 10 list of countries hosting malware-infected Web pages in August 2007 includes:

1. China (inc. Hong Kong) 44.8 percent

2. United States 20.8 percent

3. Russia 11.3 percent

4. Ukraine 7.7 percent

5. Poland 2.4 percent

6. Germany 1.6 percent

7. Netherlands 1.1 percent

8. Italy 0.9 percent

9. Canada 0.8 percent

10. United Kingdom 0.8 percent

Others 7.8 percent

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