Threat Trends In January

Here at ESET we have just released our Global ThreatTrends report for January 2009.

Not surprisingly, at the top of the list is a family of programs that exploit Microsoft’s longest unpatched vulnerability. That’s right, Autorun.inf, is an evil “feature” that should have been patched out of existence a long time ago. Since it is so effective for malware there are lots of threats that exploit it.

In the number two position we find a family of threats that steal passwords for online games. This is also pretty logical. There is a lot of money in the sale of “virtual” items and characters for real money.

In third place is the new kid on the block… the Conficker worm. Conficker is truly a tragedy as it is indicative of really poor security practices. Failure to patch your OS will leave you vulnerable to this worm. Autorun is another attack vector. If you disable autorun you take away another avenue of attack for Conficker and the most widespread threats we see. I’ll have a blog up in a day or two that will show you how to really kill autorun. It’s the patch that MS should have disclosed a long time ago. Administrative shares are another avenue of attack and weak passwords are still another security fault that Conficker exploits.

If you decrease the number of security holes you have then your goalie, security software, takes less shots on goal. That is a basic defensive strategy. Prevention is always better than cure, and Conficker highlights that much more work is required in the prevention department.

You can read the whole report at http://www.eset.com/threat-center/threat_trends/Global_Threat_Trends_January_2009.pdf

Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author ESET Research, ESET

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