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McAfee Says Spam Rates Have Increased Dramatically

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A new report from security vendor McAfee says that spam levels rose sharply in the first quarter of the year. The Koobface worm that spreads through social networking sites was also very active, as was the Citadel Trojan.

Computerworld’s Lucian Constantin reported, “The first three months of 2013 have seen a surge in spam volume, as well as large numbers of samples of the Koobface social networking worm and master boot record (MBR) infecting malware, according to antivirus vendor McAfee. After remaining relatively stable throughout 2012, spam levels rose during the first quarter of 2013, reaching the highest volume seen in the past two years, McAfee said in a report released Monday.”

CNBC’s Eamon Javers noted, “One significant element driving the growth in North America, the firm said, was ‘the return of pump and dump spam campaigns.’ Those campaigns are designed to quickly focus investor attention on an obscure, thinly traded stock to create a sharp run-up in value. Typically, those scammers will buy the stock before sending the spam and then sell after the price pops, pocketing a quick profit.”

V3’s Alistair Stevenson added, “McAfee listed tweaked versions of the Citadel and Koobface Trojans as two of the biggest threats facing businesses in its Q1 2013 Threat Report on Monday. The firm said the Citadel Trojan is particularly dangerous as crooks had developed it to steal a more diverse pool of data from its victims, making it one of 2013’s most dangerous emerging threats.”

And according to CRN’s Robert Westervelt, “Mobile attackers have been consistently targeting owners of Android smartphones and tablets in China and Russia, but McAfee said Monday that it is seeing signs of the mobile threat spreading to other parts of the world…. McAfee said the total number of samples in its mobile malware database reached 50,926, with 28 percent detected in 2013.”

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