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Past the Second Half of 2009

Just before we pop corks at the arrival of 2010 and the passing of 2009, let’s take a quick look at the second half of 2009.

Across the U.S. the ThreatFire community saw huge numbers of FakeAv variants disappointingly being run on systems, the Vundo ad-popping trojan appearing all over desktops, and Koobface worming its way across social networks. In India, the Sality virus/downloader and varieties of bots attempted to infect systems — when ThreatFire’s community’s statistics are extrapolated out to the 40 million likely computers in that country, we can estimate that  millions of Indian systems were attacked by this virus. In China, we saw gaming password stealing worms continue to spread out across the country, most likely distributed through usb sticks and other removable drives. Hot topics consistently led to blackhat SEO and phony codecs. Socially engineered bulk email schemes delivered attachments that dropped password stealing Zbot and Bredolab downloaders, users were easily convinced that they received invoices from delivery services or social networks were updating their systems. The Conficker hype grew exponentially and is all too slowly whimpering away, while the Waledac threat mutated and began to dry up altogether.

Our PC Tools ThreatFire team finished the year with a bang. The award winning PC Tools’ Internet Security Suite and its ThreatFire Behavioral Intelligence component topped all other suites as champion in the lengthiest, most comprehensive, real-world dynamic-testing malware blocking competition to date. It’s exciting to see AMTSO dynamic testing best practices being adopted and used to better drive testing and scenarios that best evaluate malware attacks that most computer users really can encounter on a daily basis. Nice testing effort and results indeed.

As 2010 arrives, we hope that existing and new ThreatFire/Behavior Guard users around the world look forward to fewer of these threats being realized on their own systems and another year of confidence in their information driven world.

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