Symantec Intelligence Report: January 2013

In this month’s report, we find that the email malware rate has dropped significantly since December, where only one in 400 emails containing a virus in January. This is the lowest virus rate we’ve seen since 2009. It could indicate that email virus distributors took a break after the holiday season, or that they have continued to migrate away from email as a choice for malicious payload delivery. We’ll watch this trend carefully to see if it continues to drop off.In other news this month, Valentine’s Day spam is in full swing. Such spam generally arrives as an ecard during this time of year, preying upon a potential victim’s curiosity about a potential secret admirer — a situation where a legitimate email would likely arrive unsolicited in the first place. Unfortunately many such emails around this time of year do not lead to unexpected romance, but rather fake bargains, phishing attempts, or malicious code. More details on these scams can be found here.Finally, this month Symantec and Microsoft partnered to take down a notorious botnet: Bamital. The primary purpose of this botnet has been to generate ad revenue by hijacking search engine results, redirecting them to a C&C server hosting ads of the attacker’s choosing. Symantec has been tracking this botnet since 2009, and has successfully shut down the all known components of used to operate the botnet. Security Response has released a whitepaper, providing a detailed overview of the botnet, which is available for download here.We hope you enjoy reading this month’s Symantec Intelligence Report, which is now available for download.

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