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Spam blizzards used to hide malicious activities

John P. Mello | July 4, 2013
Distributed Spam Distraction attacks may last up to 24 hours, and inundate an inbox with as many as 60,000 messages, AppRiver report notes

That's likely to change, however, especially as online banking functions move to mobile devices. "A lot of consumers are using mobile banking now, but the banking industry has stopped short of allowing robust payments," George Tubin, a senior security strategist with Trusteer, said in an interview.

"But the marketing folks in banks are pushing for more payment capabilities," he continued. "The fraudsters will jump in once these companies get more payment capabilities out there."

In addition, a lucrative line of income for web predators on the PC — ransomware — has been moving to the mobile sphere. "Ransomware has shifted significantly from PC focus to unprotected mobile devices," JD Sherry, vice president of Technology and Solutions for Trend Micro, said in an interview.

In its mobile form, a splash screen will appear on the display of an infected phone declaring cell service will be cut if a ransom isn't paid. "That's a huge trend that I see spiking in the next six months," Sherry said.

Although there haven't been any radical changes in the last six months, network marauders appear to have modified their tactics. "There's a lot more focus on compromising the user than compromising the user's machine," said Nick Levay, CSO of Bit9.

"If you can get a user's legitimate login credentials, you don't need to put malware on their machine, so social engineering attacks is something we continue to see growth in," he said.


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