New Media Technology News
New Media Technology News

Twitter, Facebook and co. find themselves targeted by the Cyber-Mafia

Social networking sites such as Facebook, StudiVZ or Twitter are enjoying increasing popularity. The growing visitor numbers and constant new offers ensure that cyber criminals are also taking note of these portals, causing them to be increasingly targeted by the black economy. Alongside social networks, Windows users will continue to remain amongst the favourite victims of attacks using worms, Trojans and viruses. Moreover, the attackers are increasingly targeting the users of smartphones. Overall the proven business models of spam, spyware and adware will ensure that the tills of the malware developers remain full. The German security software manufacturer G Data describes these and other developments as well as the prognoses for malware of all types in its now published malware report for the first half of 2009.

As by now, many malware gateways have been closed by security technologies, the attackers are shifting to less protected areas. The largest chances of success in this respect are offered by websites with their numerous applications. Due to this development, the experts at G Data assume that users can count on constant new and crafty malware attacks via the Internet.

++ Ralf Benzmueller, manager G Data Security Labs: “We increasingly expect these deceptive approaches on social networks. Twitter, Facebook, XING and MySpace are increasingly being used for phishing actions or to spread malware. However, worms that move in a targeted way through these networks, are also starting to gain momentum. Koobface is the first of many such attacks.” Benzmüller immediately offers tips about how you can protect yourself against such attacks: “Of course both browsers as well as the antivirus programs used should always be kept up-to-date. In addition, any links in emails which apparently originate from friends and acquaintances should be carefully checked before you click on them, as it’s precisely here that hidden dangers often lurk.”

++ Malware barometer: malware programs at record levels, but reduced rates of increase In the first six months of the year G Data has identified 663,952 malware items, which is more than twice as many as in the comparable period of last year. Nevertheless it is apparent that the measured rates of increase are no longer as great as in the past years.

“One reason for this is the worldwide economic crisis,” says Ralf Benzmueller. “It is causing the number of orders to drop, even in the black economy, which is weakening the eCrime industry.” However, even with fewer variants in fewer families, malware output is not going to fall significantly. Instead, there is a concentration in the market, with the remaining players servicing the same demand.

++ No more mercy: eCrime discovers Apple and Unix as new targets These sectors too will now be filling the wallets of the writers, distributors and exploiters of malware. And once again, the occasional success of the law enforcement agencies isn’t going to change anything. As before, the users of Windows operating systems remain targeted by the attackers, even if the number of malware programs aimed at Apple, Unix and mobile computers is going to increase in the near future.

++ New malware for smartphones and portable computers G Data has observed a new phenomenon in the development of malware for portable computers and smartphones. Although these were for a long time a niche product, the number of new malware programs for smartphones and portable computers has nearly doubled in the first half of the year. For the first time malware targeted at mobile devices has made it into the top 5. Overall, 106 new malware programs have surfaced. Approximately 90 of these programs have no propagation routine of their own and are primarily used to send text (SMS) messages to primarily Russian and Chinese telephone customers. Only the Yxe family spreads independently via text (SMS) messages with a link to a website. The file, which is offered for download there, is signed by Symbian. Thus, as previously, the only required user action is reduced to a click.

++ Trends for 2009:
For the second half of 2009 G Data’s experts expect a further increase in malware. Nevertheless the rates of increase should turn out to be reduced, while malware continues to flood Internet. Particularly alarming is that the infection methods used are becoming more and more mature and sophisticated, so that the risk of malware damage will increase for PC users.

You can find more facts and figures about cyber criminality as well as a forecast for the second half of 2009 in the G Data malware report under:…

G Data Software AG is an innovative and rapidly expanding software house focusing on IT security solutions. As a specialist for Internet security and a pioneer in the field of virus protection, the company, which was founded in Bochum in 1985, developed the first antivirus program more than 20 years ago. Over the last five years, no other European manufacturer of security software has won more national and international test awards and distinctions than G Data. As a quality leader, G Data combines the best security technology in the world in its products. Examples of this are the DoubleScan technology with two independent virus scanners or the immediate protection of OutbreakShield. G Data Security’s product portfolio encompasses security solutions for end customers, medium-sized businesses, and large companies.
G Data security solutions are available worldwide in more than 40 countries.

More information about the company and the G Data Security solutions is available at

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