In Cisco’s latest (Q2) Global Threat Report, which is an aggregated report of data and insights of threats from the Cisco Security and Intelligence Operations, one of the key highlights was the increased usage by users of peer-to-peer networks, and the increased instance of malware developers using these networks to get malware (viruses, trojans etc) onto user computers.
The report highlights further that malware, in general, is also on the increase, as malware developers focus less on destruction of computing data and programs, and more and more on accessing data (and in particular for identity theft and banking credentials) stored on the computer, or harnessing the computer for the propagation of spam and other malware.
Another worrying sign highlighted by the report was the increase in web-based malware being delivered by direct search engine results, as malware writers get good at SEO.
We feel that this highlights the essential need of users to use a great antivirus solution, backed up with a light-weight always updated anti-spyware solution, and great care should be taken before clicking on links produced by search engine portals, that link straight into executables, or other malware infection vectors, such as drive-by threats.
As ever, extreme caution before clicking anything, or downloading something – and especially installing something on your computer must be taken, as common sense along with great security software is your best defence; but common sense should always come first.