Monday 10 September 2007

1 in every 28 email reaching india has virus

Malicious websites on the rise

With the Internet becoming the order of life for more and more Indians, who depend on e-mails to stay in touch, their computers are facing an increasing virus threat with one in every 28 e-mails being infected, says a recent study.

A study by the messaging security and management services provider, MessageLabs, reveals that malicious websites are on the rise.

A new virus, StormWorm, which uses virtual postcards and YouTube video for its attack, is affecting computers.

According to the study, 1.8 million computers have been affected by StormWorm worldwide. In August, India was the most vulnerable region in virus attacks, with one in every 27.8 e-mails having been infected. However, during this period, spam attacks (or unsolicited bulk e-mails), accounted for only 29.5 per cent of the total e-mails received, says the study.

It also found that there was a rise in e-mails containing links to virtual postcards and YouTube video invites.

On August 15, there was a significant outburst of new malicious websites comprising 600,000 e-mails, which were distributed in just 24 hours.

As a result of this latest StormWorm activity, the number of e-mails which contained links to malicious code increased to 19.5 per cent in August, a rise of 19 per cent from the July figure of just 0.5 per cent.

The analysis also reveals steep rise in the number of new malicious websites appearing every day. In August, a daily average of 1,772 such new sites were identified and blocked, an average increase of 783 a day since July

The analysis on web trends also reveals the steep rise in the number of new malicious websites appearing every day. In August, a daily average of 1,772 new malicious sites were identified and blocked, an average increase of 783 per day since July. In August, the global ratio of spam in email traffic from new and unknown sources, for which the recipients' addresses were deemed valid, was 74%, an increase of three per cent on the previous month.

During this time, Israel received the highest number of spam attack at the rate of 70.7%, while France saw the most significant increase in spam levels at a 9.5%, followed by Spain at 9.2%.

Across sectors, agriculture ranks as the most spammed with 66.9%, while finance is the least spammed one with 30.5%.

The highest increase in spam activity across all sectors during August was observed in the telecom sector where it rose by 22.3% since July and repositioned this vertical as the second most spammed segment. The largest drop was in the business support services sector, which fell by 6.2%. The global ratio of viruses in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources destined for valid recipients was 1 in 80.4 or 1.24% in

August, a decrease of 0.14% since the previous month. The education sector moved to the top of the virus chart in August despite a fall in virus activity of 0.18%, the study revealed.

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