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Shnakule most dangerous malware delivery network: Blue Coat Web security report

Study identifies 10 largest malware delivery networks, traces user entry points into networks

By CBR Staff Writer

In the first half of 2011, Shnakule was the leading malware delivery network and search engine poisoning was the most popular malware vector, according to the latest study by Blue Coat Systems, a provider of Web security and WAN optimisation offerings.

The security company has released its 2011 Mid-Year Web Security Report, which examines Web-based malware ecosystems, including the 10 largest malware delivery networks.

The study found that large malware delivery networks are typically hosted across multiple sites and launch dynamic attacks on unsuspecting users.

The report also examines the interactions of Web-based malware ecosystems, including user behaviour, hosting sites and delivery networks.

The report said that for the first half of 2011, Shnakule was the leading malware delivery network, both by size and effectiveness. The network had 2,000 unique host names per day with a peak of more than 4,300 per day.

Shnakule is a broad-based malware delivery network involved in drive-by downloads, fake anti-virus and codecs, fake flash and Firefox updates, fake warez, and botnet. Interrelated activities include pornography, gambling, pharmaceuticals, link farming, and work-at-home scams, found the study.

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Shnakule was also the most deceptive, luring people to register an average of more than 21,000 requests and as many as 51,000 requests in a single day.

Moreover, Ishabor, Kulerib, Rabricote and Albircpana, which all appear on the top 10 list of largest malware delivery networks, are actually components of Shnakule, said the report.

The 2011 Mid-Year Web Security Report also analyses how and where on the Internet users are brought into malware delivery networks.

It found that, search engine poisoning was the most popular malware vector.

In nearly 40% of all malware incidents, search engines and portals were the entry point into malware delivery networks. Social Networking was the fifth most popular entry point.

Email was the third and pornography was the 4th most popular way to lure users to malware.

Blue Coat Systems chief marketing officer and senior vice-president Steve Daheb said Web-based malware has become so dynamic that it is nearly impossible to protect every user from every new attack with traditional defences.

Daheb said, "With a unique comprehensive view of the Web ecosystem, Blue Coat Web security solutions can identify and track malware networks to proactively protect customers from new attacks that these networks attempt to launch."

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