22 February 2006 | 5,369 views

Jan 2006 Virus and Spam Statistics

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January at a glance: Vicious and Varied
The numbers are indeed concerning: 19 new email-born significant virus attacks, of which a troubling 8 (42%) were graded “low intensity”, 7 (37%) “Medium Intensity” and 4 (21%) were massive attacks & a rare phenomenon for a single month.

One outbreak of specific interest, consisting of 7 variants, illustrates how viruses are growing in sophistication: the first variant was launched around December 25th as a low intensity virus, however with subsequently released variants the attack’s intensity grew into a massive outbreak towards the end of the month.

The biggest virus attacks are the quickest & fast-moving solutions required
One of the factors measured by Commtouch is the speed of distribution. We consider attacks that peak within eight hours to have “short spans”, since it takes an average of 8-10 hours for a traditional anti-virus vendor to release an updated signature blocking a new virus.

Computer virus statistics from the Commtouch Detection Center indicate that 40% of attacks during January met this profile. Also, there is a clear connection between the attack’s speed and its intensity & the faster attacks are the biggest ones: while the average distribution time of low intensity attacks is a ‘leisurely’ 27 hours and medium-intensity attacks can take 17 hours, massive attacks take as little as 5.5 hours to spread in hundreds of millions of emails.

“The conclusion is clear” adds Lev. “Without a reliable solution for early hour protection that complements the old fashion anti-virus solutions, users are unprotected from the most massive attacks.”

Anti-virus engine statistics & is your AV up for the challenge?
Based in part on a reliable third party lab test, Commtouch was able to compare detection times of 21 leading AV engines against 19 new viruses in January. The results:

- On average, each AV completely missed 6.2 viruses (the attack was completed, and a signature was not yet available).
- The average response time to new viruses among all AV engines was 8.12 hours.

“The data should be of great concern to AV vendors and IT managers alike,” said Lev. “An eight hour response spells a simple truth & a traditional AV solution does not stand a chance against massive attacks that end before a signature is even released.”

Spam is physically sent primarily from the US
The Commtouch Detection Center monitors spam distribution patterns on a global level. January spam statistics show that 43.18% of global spam is sent from US-based sources (down from approximately 50%). China is also a significant ‘launching pad’ for 12.89% of the spam. Korean and German sources distribute about 4% of global spam, and the rest of spam originates from around the globe.

Source: Commtouch

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3 Responses to “Jan 2006 Virus and Spam Statistics”

  1. Navaho Gunleg 22 February 2006 at 3:51 am Permalink

    An average of 6.2 of 19 new virusses evaded detection? That’s a pretty depressing statistic come to think of it.

    Fact of the matter is, this will remain a never-ending battle and it will continue to do so as long as software is created by humans. In the end, even that Trusted Computing stuff is bound to have implementation errors that allow exploitation.

  2. karan 22 February 2006 at 9:28 am Permalink

    Viruses have been with us for a long time – and they are here to stay – what I find interesting is the way some viruses are hyped and the general user at the end of the computing chain may really not be affected but loves talking about the article in the newspaper -about the latest virus to hit the net – case in point Kamasutra virus feb 13 2006 India. The full story on this in a bit….

  3. Darknet 22 February 2006 at 9:55 am Permalink

    Yeah I rarely see a virus that impresses me any more either, they are all the same crappy Visual Basic resash, mass mailer, hooks into windows adress book API, searches files for e-mail addresses and so on. Nothing really impressed me since CEH, the Chenobyl virus, not the crappy ‘hacking’ course! That was some good shit.