In its fourth quarterly report titled “AVG Community Powered Threat – Q4 2011”, AVG Technologies detailed some of the most notable cybercrime developments in the last quarter and highlighted the risks that QR codes, stolen digital certificates and rootkits pose.
According to the report, cybercrime has evolved into a criminal business that is operated for financial gain.
JR Smith, CEO at AVG Technologies said, “With threats such as ID theft, phishing attacks and Trojans, cyber criminals create an environment of increased risk that puts people off going online. At AVG we believe our role is to give people the tools and peace of mind to enjoy their online experience.”
The report mentions that just as QR codes are being used by mobile users to insert texts and URLs, so too are hackers using them as a medium to distribute malware and malicious code to unsuspecting users.
According to Yuval Ben-Itzhak (News - Alert), chief technology officer at AVG Technologies, the convergence between computers and mobile phones and the transition of mobile phones into miniaturized versions of the computer has made it easier for hackers to target them.
The vulnerability of the computer- like mobile phones is further highlighted as the report focused on the consequence of digital certificates falling into the wrong hands. As such certificates certify the identity of the author of a particular app, users can be lulled into a false sense of security unwittingly allowing malware do its malicious work.
The report went on to add that 2011 saw a surge in both Android (News - Alert) users and Android malware samples. More than 100 malicious apps were removed from the Android market. In addition, in recent years, Rootkits have been posing a far more serious threat as they target operating systems.
Other key findings revealed that currently the Blackhole toolkit is the most active threat on the web and the United States continues to be the largest source of spam, followed by the United Kingdom.
AVG offers powerful yet easy-to-use software and online services that put users in control of their Internet experience.
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Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell