- 21 September 2004 12:06
McAfee AVERT Reports Detection of 100,000th Malicious Threat With Addition of Sdbot Variant to Its Database
Analysis Shows Security Threats Faced by Businesses and Individual Users Continues to Climb
SYDNEY, Sept. 21 - McAfee, Inc., the leading provider of intrusion prevention solutions, today announced that the 100,000th malicious threat, a Sdbot variant, has been identified by McAfee AVERT, the company's Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team. On September 15, McAfee AVERT officially released protection for this threat with the addition of its 4391 DATs (database of virus signatures). McAfee AVERT reports that although security awareness continues to improve, hackers and malicious code authors increasingly find numerous new ways to infect consumer computers, global corporate networks, and worldwide handheld and wireless devices in an effort to destroy and steal critical information.
McAfee AVERT research shows that a leading cause behind the dramatic increase of malicious threats is due to the high number of BOTs (a virus-like infection that is controlled remotely by a distant computer, network or individual), such as the Sdbot variant, that McAfee AVERT has added to their database this year. Specifically, over 50% of the additions made to the database have been BOTs. Another major type of threat that has contributed to the recent increase is the 32-bit worm infector, which is a characteristic that makes up threats such as Netsky, Bagle and Lovgate. Worms are traditionally viruses that propagate by spreading copies of themselves, often through email.
"It's amazing to look back at the industry just five years ago and compare that to where we're at today with regard to the quantity, complexity and spread of the threats, most of which today have some type of multi-tasking element to them versus just a plain old virus," said Allan Bell, Marketing Director, Asia Pacific. "And although customers have gotten much better about their security habits, it's apparent that with the ongoing increase of computer attacks, the industry as a whole must take more proactive precautions when going online."
Overall, malicious threats, viruses and trojans have increased in quantity immensely since last year. In all of 2003, McAfee AVERT had reported that a total of 22,000 new threats had been added to its database. As 2004 comes to an end, McAfee AVERT has seen a huge increase, already adding 15,000 new threats to its database since January 1, 2004, and expects that the total additions of new threats in 2004 will surpass the total number of those added in the previous year.
McAfee AVERT, which ranks viruses according to the severity and number of samples it receives, categorises viruses in the order of Low/Low-Profiled, Medium, Medium-on-Watch, High and High-Outbreak. While in total, McAfee AVERT has hit the 100,000th threat mark, just as of January 2004, AVERT has analysed and protected against:
* 37 Medium viruses, compared to 14 Medium viruses in all of 2003
* One Medium-on-Watch viruses, compared to three Medium-on-Watch viruses in all of 2003
* One High virus, compared to three High viruses in all of 2003
According to a recent IDC report, titled "Worldwide Antivirus 2004-2008 Forecast and 2003 Competitive Vendor Shares," virus detection is becoming more sophisticated, and therefore, so are virus writers. IDC notes that traditional signature-based virus detection will continue to be the cornerstone for detecting known threats; however, proactive virus detection techniques will be increasingly adopted by organisations to combat the more complex, fast-spreading threats of the future. IDC also notes that integration of proactive virus detection technologies with traditional signature-based antivirus technologies will allow for a greater degree of accuracy in detecting both known and unknown threats.
In an effort to address these growing threats and malicious attacks, McAfee AVERT also recommends both enterprises and consumers constantly stay updated with the latest DATs, install the latest patches, employ current spam filters and implement a multi-layered, intrusion prevention approach to detecting and blocking attacks. For more information and solutions that can help enterprises and consumers ensure constant security protection, please visit www.mcafee.com.
McAfee AVERT Labs is one of the top-ranked anti-virus and vulnerability research organisations in the world, employing researchers in thirteen countries on five continents. McAfee AVERT combines world-class malicious code and anti-virus research with intrusion prevention and vulnerability research expertise from the McAfee IntruShield and McAfee Entercept organisations, two research arms that were acquired through IntruVert Networks and Entercept Security. McAfee AVERT protects customers by providing cures that are developed through the combined efforts of McAfee AVERT researchers and McAfee AVERT AutoImmune technology, which applies advanced heuristics, generic detection, and ActiveDAT technology to generate cures for previously undiscovered viruses.
With headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., McAfee, Inc. creates best-of-breed computer security solutions that prevent intrusions on networks and protect computer systems from the next generation of blended attacks and threats. McAfee's customers span large enterprises, governments, small and medium sized businesses, and consumers. For more information, McAfee, Inc. can be reached on the Internet at http://www.mcafee.com/.
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