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Security threat report 2011

cute and furry? or ruthless and deadly?

Sophos security threat report 2011

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Sophos security threat report 2011

We will remember 2010 as a year in which our interaction with technology—and with each other—evolved because of the widespread adoption of social media and the use of innovative mobile computing devices. We are dependent on smart devices—justask anyone who has lost their iPhone or BlackBerry. And whether you’re using a mobile device or a laptop or desktop computer, you’re likely to use social networks more than ever. This new technology changes the way we communicate with our friends, colleagues and customers. This not only revolutionizes the way we live our lives, but also blurs the lines that define the way we run our businessesand use and share information. Today, users are the content. Driving the growth, and at the same time being driven by it, the explosion in mobile computing is expanding the impact of the social web. And, the way that content is shared and accessed is now the core of a new global culture, affecting and combining the spheres of personal and business life.

Sophos security threat report 2011

1 Of course, this evolution of technology is closely tracked by the “bad guys” willing to exploit weaknesses in our technologies and in human nature. Cybercriminals prey on our curiosity, and perhaps our vulnerability and gullibility, and use psychological traps to profit from unsuspecting technology users. Malware scams and exploits targeting social networking websites, applications, devices, andusers proliferate. At the same time, traditional attacks continue to become more sophisticated to target the most advanced software, hardware and websites.

By preying on our curiosity, cybercriminals are able to use psychological traps to profit from unsuspecting users of technology.

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Sophos security threat report 2011

By the end of 2010, WikiLeaks, a whistle-blowing website, causeda global furor. The site publishes private, secret and classified media submissions from anonymous news sources and news leaks, and led to sustained and sophisticated tit-for-tat cyber-attacks. This underlines the importance of data security and cyber-caution for large-scale business, for government and at the personal level as well. As always, we continue to track—and where possible, thwart—thelatest attack techniques and maintain protection against them. To stay secure in 2011 and beyond, it’s vital that we understand how threats worked in 2010.This report identifies the threats, the way they work, and provides insight into the tools and techniques available to protect your systems and data.

Sophos security threat report 2011

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Identifying the threats: where to watch95,000—that’s the number of malware pieces analyzed by SophosLabs every day in 2010, nearly doubling the number of malware pieces we tracked in 2009. This accounts for one unique file every 0.9 seconds, 24 hours per day, each day of the year. It’s a clear sign that the malware threat continues to grow at an alarming rate. Today, more than ever before, hackers aren’t just producing malware fornotoriety—they’re producing it for large financial gain. We track these methods of attack and constantly learn from them so we can block and protect your systems. Here’s a look at the more significant threats of 2010. It’s wise to keep watching these threats, as they’re likely to surface again in 2011.

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Sophos security threat report 2011

Fake anti-virus software

One of the more persistent threats ofthe year was fake anti-virus, also commonly known as “scareware” or “rogueware.” In this widespread practice, software is inveigled into a victim’s computer system, closely resembling—and in some cases directly impersonating—genuine security solutions. The user receives a warning that their system is infected with some nasty malware and is forced to pay for a “full” version of the software...
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