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26.8% more PCs infected in the first quarter

26.8% more PCs infected in the first quarter

During the first three months of the year, 327,598,028 attempts were made to infect computers in different countries around the world, 26.8 percent more than in the previous quarter.

The data are from Kaspersky, which attributes the increase in cybercrime to the growth in Internet access, combined with insufficient legislation and rising unemployment rates.

However, the objective of cybercriminals has changed, starting to target their attacks preferentially at users in countries with less stringent controls and developed online banking systems.

During the first quarter, the news that was most used to lure users to malicious pages had to do with the iPad, Avatar and the Haiti earthquake.

Cyber-criminals mostly used families of programs that include HTML or script code and inserted links on social networks or distributed them through spam in order to redirect Internet users to infected sites.

During this first quarter of 2010, Kaspersky Lab also detected 12,111,862 vulnerabilities on users’ computers, which corresponds to 6.9 percent more than in the previous quarter. Of the most widespread vulnerabilities, six out of 10 were detected in Microsoft Office products, three in Adobe software and one in Sun.

The number of exploits also increased (21.3%). In this case, Adobe’s programs were more affected than Microsoft’s: about half of exploits took advantage of Adobe’s vulnerabilities.

Strengthening legislation works

The United States is now the leader (27.57%), followed by Russia (22.59%). The leader of the last quarter of last year, China, now occupies the third position (12.84%), thanks to the «new year gift» that the Beijing government gave to cybercriminals, by tightening the authorization policy of domain registration for the «cn» zone.

The introduction of tighter laws and greater attention on the part of authorities in relation to cybercrime has forced criminals to conceal their activities. This results, defended Kaspersky, in an increase in the number of Trojans, since the malware this type is confused with a genuine application and can remain undetected despite the use of legitimate software.

At the end of the quarter, Trojans already accounted for 21.46 percent of all threats detected on users’ computers. Adware is the second ranking, followed by worms.