Worst global cyber threats of 2012

The Nominum security team analyzed DNS data across the globe to identify the worst malicious bots of 2012 and ranked them according to breadth and repercussions of infection.

The team found that 2012 was marked by the continuous growth of sophisticated attacks in fixed and mobile networks, and the majority of these attacks were carried by malicious bots that were previously unknown and had no antivirus software signatures available. Since most bots rely on the DNS to propagate and communicate with criminal networks, the DNS layer is an excellent way to identify threats and protect critical infrastructure.

Nominum analyzed DNS data produced from their work with over 140 of the world’s top service providers, which accounts for 30% of the world’s network traffic, or 1 trillion DNS queries per day.

Top 10 fixed network threats

This list shows the top ten malicious bots ranked by the degree of infection around the world. The top ten global bots are a mix of new modern bots and legacy bots:

  • Ngrbot/dorkbot
  • Spybot
  • Ramnit
  • Spambot
  • Palevo/butterfly
  • Virut
  • Zeus
  • Sality
  • Conficker
  • Nitol

Top 5 mobile device threats

There are a significant number of mobile malware infections in existence today that are capable of stealing mobile phone users’ identity, and this number is growing exponentially. The research shows that Android remains the top target of malware writers.

  • Notcompatible
  • Smspacem
  • Lena
  • Netisend
  • Basebridge

“Service providers and government agencies are showing increased attention to cyber security issues, but we still see the need for stronger countermeasures,” said Craig Sprosts, vice president of Applications and Platforms, of Nominum. “We anticipate that in 2013, bot-related traffic through DNS queries will continue to be a primary source for malicious activity like spam, distributed denial-of-service attacks, data and identity theft, and more.”

For a more detailed look at this research and at the threats, read “Top Cyber Threats for Fixed Broadband Networks” and “Top Mobile Malware Threats”.

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