Cyberoam warns of Kamasutra virus

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Cyberoam, a division of Elitecore Technologies, has issued warnings of a Kamasutra virus attack that persuades Internet users to download a PowerPoint presentation with a virus that infects their PCs.

According to the security company, the virus is transferred in the form of a downloadable PPT/PPS file link. Once downloaded, the malicious code gives hackers a backdoor access to a user's PC.

Abhilash Sonwane, Cyberoam's vice-president of product management, says: “It is one of the most dangerous attacks in recent times because once the virus infects your computer, it can be very difficult to remove it.

“Hackers would be then able to access all your personal files, execute any number of unwanted tasks and spy on your online activities.”

Sonwane advises that users be vigilant and do not download files from unreliable sources. He urges Internet users to keep their anti-virus up-to-date.

Drop in spam

In Cyberoam's fourth quarter 2010 report, the security vendor reported an overall drop in global spam levels, down to as much as 74% for December.

The company found an average of 142 billion daily spam and phishing e-mails sent in the fourth quarter of last year, down from 198 billion in the previous quarter.

Cyberoam says this is due to the recent closure of Spamit, a major organisation behind pharmacy e-mails. It adds that spam levels ultimately did rise to 83% towards the end of the quarter, which was still 5% down from the levels during the previous quarter of last year.

The security vendor also found a reduced zombie activity in the final quarter of 2010, with 288 000 zombies activated, compared with 339 000 zombies in the third quarter. The company says that reduced zombie activity is having an effect on botnet spam.

India claimed the top spot as highest zombie producer with an increase of 3%. Russia is in second place followed by Brazil.

Spam tricksters

Research from security giant Symantec agrees with Cyberoam, stating that the overall spam volume since August 2010, has declined from around 200 billion messages sent out per day, to under 50 billion by the end of December 2010.

However, Brett Myroff, CEO of Sophos SA disputed the research, claiming that while the type of spam has shifted, overall, spam is here to say.

Myroff admits that e-mails with links to infected Web sites or where victims are tricked into clicking a link in an e-mail is becoming more prevalent.

According to Sophos, 67% of Internet users were spammed at the end of last year via social networking sites, more than double the proportion less than two years ago.

Myroff says: "Many computer users still don't realise that you can become infected simply by visiting a Web site. Over the past year, Sophos has noted an average of 30 000 new malicious URLs every day - one every two-to-three seconds.

“More than 70% of these are legitimate Web sites that have been hacked. This means that businesses and Web site owners could inadvertently be infecting their patrons unintentionally.”

According to research by Kaspersky, in 2010, about 18% of all messages delivered to business user mailboxes were spam.

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