Kaspersky Lab publishes its annual report on malware and spam evolution for 2007

27 Feb 2008
Virus News

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content management solutions, announces the publication of its annual report on malware and spam evolution in 2007. The overview of virus activity for 2007 provides information about major virus-related incidents, an analysis of the trends in virus creation and distribution, as well as forecasts by Kaspersky Lab. The report is intended for both IT security professionals and PC users with an interest in the problems of computer viruses. First of all, it should be noted that 2007 turned out to be the most “viral” year in history. The total number of IT threats more than doubled during the year. In 2007, Kaspersky Lab added almost as many signatures to its databases as it had during the preceding 15 years. Antivirus experts had to make every conceivable effort to get the better of these threats. This raises serious concerns, because, unless the situation radically changes in 2008 (which looks highly unlikely), the number of threats will double again by the end of the year. DoS attacks were among the key information security threats throughout the year. In 2007, they were used not only to extort money from victims but also as a political and competitive tool. An attack on Estonia which took place in May 2007 was extensively covered by the mass media and is regarded as the first instance of cyber-warfare by many experts. The experts at Kaspersky Lab predict that in 2008 the evolution of malware from individual malicious programs towards sophisticated integrated projects will continue. We can also expect a surge in the number of incidents involving infected game and program distribution packages available from popular websites or via P2P networks. Viruses will target those files which users provide to other users, since in many cases this method of spreading is even more effective than sending infected files by email. According to Kaspersky Lab’s spam analysts, the level of spam in mail traffic was 79.2% in 2007. The total volume of spam sent throughout the year approximately doubled due to an overall increase in mail traffic in general, as well as an increase in the amount of infected computers used to send spam. The US and Russia were first and second in terms of spam sent in 2007, with Poland in third place. A major trend in the evolution of spam was the advent of flash mailings. This method of sending spam results in messages reaching millions of users in a mere 15-30 minutes. One of the more noteworthy developments of 2007 in terms of spam format – messages with attached mp3 files – was detected in October. The spam analysts at Kaspersky Lab predict that the amount of spam in mail traffic in 2008 will remain at the same level as the last quarter of 2007, perhaps with a negligible increase. It is also likely that spammers will continue to increase the speed of their mailings and the number of messages sent per mailing.

The full version of the annual report ‘Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2007’ is available on Viruslist.com.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is the largest antivirus company in Europe. It delivers some of the world’s most immediate protection against IT security threats, including viruses, spyware, crimeware, hackers, phishing, and spam. The Company is ranked among the world’s top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users. Kaspersky Lab products provide superior detection rates and one of the industry’s fastest outbreak response times for home users, SMBs, large enterprises and the mobile computing environment. Kaspersky® technology is also used worldwide inside the products and services of the industry’s leading IT security solution providers. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com. For the latest on antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam and other IT security issues and trends, visit www.viruslist.com.