Classic viruses surge by 67 percent

Trojans once again topped the rankings, accounting for nearly 52 percent of malware identified by PandaLabs during the last quarter. Traditional viruses have continued their revival since the onset of 2010, now accounting for nearly 25 percent of all malware compared to 15 percent in Q1.

The jump is due in large part to a small handful of hybrid viruses that are replicating themselves at extremely high rates, blurring the lines between traditional viruses and other types of malware.

“The increase of viruses can be attributed to the hybridization of threats today,” said Sean-Paul Correll, threat researcher at PandaLabs. “Today’s threats are blending traditional virus capabilities, with Trojan, and sometimes worm-like features. We’re moving from the world of ‘virus’ and ‘Trojan’ to the all encompassing term of ‘malware.'”

Taiwan once again remains in the No. 1 position for infection rankings by country, with more than 50 percent of all computers infected, followed by Russia and Turkey.

Additional findings disclosed in the report include a new and potentially dangerous phishing technique called Tabnabbing that appeared in May. Tabnabbing exploits the tab browsing system in modern browsers to make users believe they are on a familiar Web page such as Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook and then steals their passwords.

Tabnabbing uses a JavaScript command that detects when users are not viewing a page they have previously opened, and automatically rewrites the content of the page, as well as the icon and title, spoofing the appearance of the original page. While the extent of Tabnabbing is still unclear, PandaLabs advises users to close all pages that they are not actively using to avoid this threat.

Additional threats outlined in the report include BlackHat SEO and continued attacks on social networks, including the recent clickjacking scheme on Facebook, which exploits the “Like” button.

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