Internet security firm Fortinet said that the online threats and spam level dropped significantly in the month of November 2008. The downward trend continued since September 2008 when both online threats and spam were at their peak.
According to the "November Threatscape Report" released by Fortinet, the slowdown in unsolicited e-mails and spam is not likely to continue for long and may reverse in the month of December 2008. The downward trend was initiated with the closure of ISP McColo, the biggest trend determiner. But once the malicious attackers find new replacements to host their spambots and sites, the number will increase again.
Moreover, security experts said that another reason for downfall in the number of spam and online threats during November 2008 was attackers were might busy in building and planning new attacks to launch during the holiday season when large number of people come online to shop. This planning will help in making a large number of unsuspecting users their victims.
Derek Manky, Project Manager, Fortinet, stated that spam and malware activities are expected to rise at a fast pace as the spam botnets find new hosts after closure of McColo, as reported by Security Watch on December 4, 2008. He further added that with the starting of new online shopping season, key-logging activities are likely to escalate. The upward trend has already come into the notice since the closing of November 2008.
The report also disclosed that out of 81 vulnerabilities detected in the month of November 2008, 25 were classified into high risk category. Among those 25 vulnerabilities, the top were Worm.Slammer and Trojan.Storm.Worm.Krackin.Detection, which together represented 60% of the total vulnerabilities.
Moreover, giving more details on keyloggers, Fortinet revealed that out of top five malware variants encountered in November 2008, three belonged to the family of Goldun. This family is mainly designed to track users' keystrokes which are used to steal their personal and financial details such as credit card and banking details.
The security firm further said that rising key-logging activities indicates to the preparations for online shopping during the holiday season.