Social networking sites key target for cyber attacks

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 26, 2012

cyber attacksSocial networking sites have become the primary target of cyber attacks and the trend will continue through Christmas and New Year, according to a recent report from Kaspersky Lab. The security firm noted that phishing attacks on these sites have registered an increase of 13 percentage points to 30 per cent in November over the previous month.

Despite the percentage of phishing attacks falling by 0.015 percent of all mail, the danger posed by spam has not abated. Malicious programs were detected in 3.27 percent of email traffic – a slight increase on the previous months.

Among the biggest sources of spam around the world, the leading countries are still China at 32.7 percent and the US at 23.8 percent. The share of spam sent from China increased by 2 percentage points, while the share of spam originating in the US fell by 3.5 points.

As per the November report, Asia remains the top regional source of spam at 51.9 percent, or 1.4 percentage points higher than in October, while North America and Western Europe were still among the top three regions.

Italy reported 3.9 percent points rise in its contribution of European spam that makes it to the third place, while India’s share of spam sent to European countries declined by 6 percent points during the month. The search engines most frequently targeted by phishers were Google and Yahoo.

“As expected, with the approach of the winter holiday season the amount of New Year- and Christmas-themed spam has surged. In December, advertisements for various goods and services related to the holidays will continue to increase, while the amount of image spam will also be on the rise,” said Tatyana Shcherbakova, senior spam analyst at Internet security solutions firm Kaspersky Lab.

Shcherbakova opined that during the holiday season Internet users should be careful about opening emails claiming to contain notifications from stores, banks, and other financial systems.
The security firm warned users against opening suspicious attachments from unknown senders, clicking on links allegedly leading to banking websites, especially against entering any personal information such as bank card numbers, passwords, or usernames for payment accounts.