Feeds

One in seven North American home networks full of malware

Claims the continent's Phorm-a-like packet sniffer

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

One in seven home networks in North America are infected with malware, a recent study has revealed.

Half the threats detected during Q3 2012 were made up of spam-spewing zombies or banking Trojans while the remainder were mostly adware and other lesser threats, according to a study by Kindsight Security Labs. The study was based on data gathered from the security firm's service provider customers.

Kindsight Security Labs offers Phorm-like deep packet inspection technology to consumers through its telco partners. Consumers get pushed behavioral advertising sweetened by the promise of malware screening. Kindsight therefore has a vested interest in talking up the malware threat so its figures need to be viewed with caution even though they present a interesting insight into the botnet landscape, which everyone agrees is pretty dire.

The one-in-seven (13 per cent) infection rate recorded by Kindsight in Q3 is actually a 1 percentage point improvement on figures recorded in Q2 2012.

Consumers most commonly get infected with malware after visiting websites contaminated with exploit kits via so-called drive-by attacks.

Kindsight names the ZeroAccess botnet as among the worst menaces to internet hygiene. ZeroAccess was the most active botnet in Q3, with more than 2 million infected users worldwide with 685,000 in the US alone.

"These bots are engaged in a sophisticated ad-click fraud scheme that each day generates about 140 million fraudulent ad-clicks and 260 terabytes of network traffic. ZeroAccess could be costing advertisers $900,000 per day," according to Kindsight.

The second most active botnet in Q3 2012 was TDSS/Alureon family, also known as TDL-4.

The security firm's Intrusion Detection System-based technology runs in the networks of both fixed line and mobile service providers, monitoring threats. This allows Kindsight to see attack traffic spewed out by infected handsets onto mobile networks.

The infection rate of Android smartphones is just over 3 per cent, according to Kindsight's statistics. Mobile adware accounts for nine in 10 of these cyber-undesireables, it adds. More serious Android nasties the study detected were almost exclusively “Trojanised” apps, which steal information from smartphones or send SMS messages to premium-rate numbers without the permission of owners.

Kindsight's full report can be found here (PDF). ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.