Spam and Email Viruses Decline Slightly

Postini announced that the number of directory harvest attacks (DHAs) by spammers against corporate email dropped in March for the first time in seven months. In March, Postini protected its customers from more than 26 million DHAs, or an average of 843,157 per day.  This is an eight percent decrease compared to February’s average of 919,963 per day.

DHAs are brute force attempts by spammers to find valid email addresses where the spammer connects to a business’ email server and guesses addresses, building a database of legitimate email addresses. Those addresses are then harvested for use in later spam campaigns.

The amount of spam and virus-ridden emails decreased slightly in March despite a spike in Bagle worm traffic early in the month. Postini processed 14.6 billon messages this month and 87 percent of them were spam, including phishing, viruses, and other email threats. Only 13 percent of all messages were legitimate email. Last February 88 percent of all email was malicious.

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Don’t Let April 1 Be April ‘Phools’ Day: Federal Trade Commission, National Consumers League and Microsoft Warn Internet Users of Phishing Scams

In sharp contrast to the harmless pranks that will be played on April Fools’ Day, deceptive phishing schemes are no laughing matter. To strike a blow against criminals who prey on Internet users, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), National Consumers League and Microsoft Corp. today urged consumers to beware of phishing schemes aimed at stealing their identities.


90% of computers in companies are affected by spyware

90% of computers in companies are affected by spyware, informs Panda Software

Spyware is one of the most common security risks and directly affects user privacy. What’s more, it is one of the main reasons why users call internal technical support centers in companies. The data is surprising: according to a recent report compiled by the companies Webroot and Earthlink, 9 in 10 computers have spyware installed. This means that 90 percent of computers are affected by this type of malware. What’s more, an average of 25 spyware programs were installed on the computers studied. Similarly, data collected by Panda Software’s free online antivirus solution, Panda ActiveScan -the new version of which also detects spyware-, shows that 84 percent of the malware installed on computers is spyware.

Worm plays on rumours of romance between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Sophos reports

Experts at SophosLabs, Sophos’s global network of virus and spam analysis centres, have discovered a worm which plays upon the public’s interest in movie stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, as well as celebrities such as Britney Spears, Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton.

The W32/Ahker-F worm spreads via email using messages such as:

Watch Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt cought on TAPE! SEXY CLIP! WATCH IT!

Sophos believes the worm’s author (who calls himself “Agent Hacker”) is capitalising on media interest in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s possible friendship. There has been speculation that the film stars’ relationship may have contributed to the recent breakdown of Pitt’s marriage with ex-Friends’ actress Jennifer Aniston.

If the attached file,, is opened and executed the worm will attempt to spread to other email users.

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Fingerprint Sharing Alliance – A community for coordinated, rapid attack resolution

A coalition of telcos, network providers, hosting companies and educational institutions have formed the Fingerprint Sharing Alliance, an industry initiative aimed at helping network operators share internet attack information automatically.

The Fingerprint Sharing Alliance marks the first time companies are able to share detailed attack profiles in real-time and aims to block attacks closer to the source.


US-CERT Cyber Security Tip: Risks of File-Sharing Technology

File-sharing technology is a popular way for users to exchange, or “share,” files. However, using this technology makes you susceptible to risks such as infection, attack, or exposure of personal information.“

What is file sharing?
File sharing involves using technology that allows internet users to share files that are housed on their individual computers. Peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, such as those used to share music files, are some of the most common forms of file-sharing technology. However, P2P applications introduce security risks that may put your information or your computer in jeopardy.

Visit to find out the following:

What risks does file-sharing technology introduce?

How can you minimize these risks?