Lavasoft News - December S2006

Spyware Shorts


'Spyware' Tops Search Charts

The term ‘spyware’ has trumped web search favorites like ‘poker’ and ‘Pamela Anderson’. Web portal Lycos reports that ‘spyware’ took top spot in search requests in late November, jumping 105 percent from a week earlier. ‘Spyware’ generated more than 80 percent more search activity than ‘Pamela Anderson’ in the number two slot.

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US Top Spam-Sending Nation

The United States spit out more than one-fifth of the world’s spam in the third quarter of 2006. A security firm says the increase can be due to the emergence of more than 300 strains of the mass-spammed Stratio worm. After the U.S., which accounts for 21.6 percent of relayed spam, come China, France, South Korea and Spain. The security firm also says most unsolicited e-mails are now sent from zombie PCs.

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UK has Highest Spyware Rate in EU

A recent survey shows that Britain has the highest spyware infection rate within the EU at 89%. A follow-up survey of UK respondents showed that males between the ages of 18 to 29 have the highest risk of having their PC infected with spyware due to risky online behavior, like opening instant messages, downloading files, and visiting adult entertainment sites.

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Wikipedia Targeted

A booby-trapped page of German Wikipedia that offered a patch for a new version of an old malicious worm, Windows Blaster, was found to infect computer users with a new Windows virus instead of fixing the problem. The malicious hackers then sent out a German-language spam e-mail, made to look like it came from Wikipedia, directing people to visit the page. Wikipedia quickly responded, and deleted the article.

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End of Spyware Op

A U.S. district court has ordered ERG Ventures, and one of its affiliates, to stop distributing what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) calls deceptive and unfair software downloads. The operation will also likely be ordered to give up any ill-gotten gains from the program that was installed on millions of computers. The FTC charged the operation with tricking consumers into downloading free software like screensavers and videos, bundled with spyware and malware from a program called Media Motor.

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Quick Buy: Ad-Aware SE Plus, Professional & Enterprise *offer ends 31/12/2006
In the spirit of giving this holiday season Lavasoft is giving you 15% off all Ad-Aware SE products – Plus, Professional and Enterprise – the entire month of December. Take advantage of this merry deal and keep yourself and your loved ones spyware free!

* Please enter the following coupon code to retain your rebate: zz46tv12x8c

Holiday Shopping Stats
American consumers will spend more than $32 billion in holiday Internet purchases this year.
Source: Jupiter Research

As many as 12 million people could fall prey to ID theft in some form – 40% of them between mid-Nov. and Jan.1.
Source: LifeLock Inc.

Trojan horse

Term of the Month
A zero-day attack is a virus or other exploit that takes advantage of a newly discovered hole in a program before the developer has made the fix available, or sometimes even before they are aware the hole exists. "Zero-day" is the day you open the virus-infected e-mail or get hit by a drive-by download because the anti-virus or anti-spyware software you keep up-to-date knew nothing of the attacks.
Read more at Wikipedia here.

Tech Tips
Attention Windows Users: If Microsoft Windows is your main operating system, be sure to visit Microsoft Security Updates and stay on top of all of the security patches that Microsoft releases on a monthly basis. Ongoing Microsoft vulnerabilities underscore the need to:

1) Regularly update your operating system with the latest patches, and

2) Maintain active virus, hacker, spyware and other identity theft protection.

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