Windows is still the most attacked Operating System in India: Quick Heal report

Infotech Lead Asia: Virus attacks in the mobile space grew 30 percent in 2012. Increase in modifications was 80 percent, according to Quick Heal.

The Quick Heal Research shows rapid increase of almost 90 percent in Windows malware and an increase of 170 percent in its modifications.

Windows is still the most attacked Operating System in India, according to the Quick Heal report.

There has been a 90 percent growth in Windows malware in 2012 as compared to 2011 and malware attacks are more sophisticated and often combine exceptional technical dexterity.

The attacks are financially motivated and targeted at newer victims who land up on the wrong side of payment extractions. Trojans and backdoors comprised the vast majority of malware at 68 percent and 13 percent respectively, while virus and worms and comprised 14 percent of samples received and adware took up 5 percent.

On the Windows platform, the Quick Heal Report mentions that piracy is big problem in India and is also a prominent carrier of malware. The CD and other web media like pirated software or movies that are downloaded are accompanied with malware threats.

Malware authors still find the Windows platform to be more profitable to exploit. Polymorphic attacks are now evolving into web-distributed malware often hosted on servers that cybercriminals use to create dynamic malware.  The report essentially highlights the urgency of protecting data everywhere and taking up more proactive approaches to vulnerabilities, applications, websites and spam.

There is peak in the growth of malware and their modifications on mobile devices, especially on the Android platform. Over 25 billion apps were downloaded from Google Play in 2012, which make applications easy and profitable attack vehicles.

The Quick Heal database also reported an increase of 80 percent in mobile malware modifications or variations in 2012. According to the Report, social engineering still remains one of the most coveted ways of spreading malware. Cyber criminals continue to use it as a convenient way of exploiting human behavior and platform vulnerabilities.

“2012 saw numerous attacks that were devised for windows vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals leveraged zero-day exploits even more effectively with new software patterns and business models. The web is still the most conventional way of targeting victims. It is pivotal that our efforts are driven to educate, inform and create awareness among the end users because as people embrace newer platforms and devices there are more and more who end up at the wrong end of attacks,” said Sanjay Katkar, technical director and CTO, Quick Heal Technologies.

The R&D centre of Quick Heal receives about over 165000 and 5000 malware samples in the Windows and Mobile platforms respectively on a daily basis.

The malware modification samples saw a jump of 170 percent in 2012. Cybercriminals were focused on weak spots and developed techniques that exploit and use it till it becomes ineffective and move on to newer exploits.

New vulnerabilities assaulted Java browser plug-ins in all leading browsers. Socially engineered emails and poisoned web pages were disguised in the form of fake-antivirus software that froze PCs asking for money to register and remove the virus threat.

Trojans and SMS Trojans comprised the vast majority of Mobile malware attacking the mobile devices at 21 percent and 38 percent respectively. While Rooters and adware comprised 14.26 percent and 14.12 percent of the pie.

The malware modification samples in Mobile platform saw a jump of almost 80 percent in the year 2012. This implies that new types of attacks are being designed and implemented and most of them are targeted to steal money and valuable identity information that could later be sold to aggressive advertising networks or some remote servers and in some cases the malware intelligently uses obfuscation.

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