January saw a large growth in the amount of malicious exploits.

 

Fortinet has reported that cybercriminals created a new botnet that used the social engineering aspect of the Barack Obama campaign. Waledac sent spam that supplies a link to a URL (that includes Obama's name) which, when visited, appears to be the official Barack Obama campaign site.

 

The company claimed that spam rates continued to increase in the period and fully regained levels consistent to spam rates before the McColo take-down. Driven by the financial crisis, the most popular spam campaigns included positive salary structure, diploma and education schemes.

 

Other key findings in the Fortinet 2009 Threatscape report included online gaming exploits rising, highlighting a rising wave of online gaming malware that is designed to steal users' details.

 

The most targeted regions for malware were the U.S. (45 per cent), Japan (43 per cent), China (26 per cent), Taiwan (20 per cent) and India (20 per cent).

 

Derek Manky, project manager, cyber security and threat research at Fortinet, said: “While eavesdropping keyloggers and spam-spewing botnets continued to rise in popularity this month, what's most concerning is the explosion of the now dated MS08-067 vulnerability. Propagating as far back as October 2008, this vulnerability underscores the importance of proper patch management and a layered security approach to avoid epidemic outbreaks of this nature.”