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The overall trends in spam and malware can be characterized by a larger number of more targeted, stealthy and sophisticated attacks. Specific observations include:
  • Spam volume increased 100 percent, to more than 120 billion spam messages daily. That's about 20 spam messages per day for every person on the planet.
  • Spam has become more dangerous. Past spam attacks were primarily selling some type of product. In 2007, more than 83 percent of spam contained a URL. In accordance with a trend towards the blending of different malware techniques, URL-based viruses increased 256 percent.
  • The "self defending bot network" was introduced. The Storm Trojan is perhaps one of the most sophisticated botnets ever observed. The quality and technical sophistication reflect that these threats are being developed by professional engineers.
  • Viruses no longer make headlines, because virus writers have evolved from the previous mass distribution attacks, viruses where much more polymorphic and typically associated with the proliferation of very sophisticated botnets such as Feebs and Storm.

Keywords
IronPort, IronPort Report, 2008 Internet Security Trends, security trends, internet threats, spam and malware, virus, Storm Trojan
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