Bucks not kicks, drive Net's baddies: Symantec

April 27, 2009; BANGALORE: Security and storage management leader Symantec's Net Threat report card for 2008, reinforces   the previous year's finding that attacks on Internet entities are increasingly motivated by  the  pursuit of fortune rather than fame or notoriety.

In fact, a  cold blooded rate card  is now in operation, worldwide,  which prices   stolen credit card information at anything from  6 cents to 30 US dollars; a bank account at between $ 10 and $ 1000 and an email account at $ 10 to $ 100.  Credit cards form one third of all stolen personal data.

India-specific findings of the  Symantec Internet Threat Security Report for 2008  include the following:

  • There are 1,03,812 computers in the country infected by bots  or robot  malware, an increase of  250 percent over 2007. The global increase in comparison, was  31 percent.

  • Mumbai leads the league table of cities with maximum infected computers ( 37 percent of the total) followed by  Chennai, 24 percent and  Delhi  7 percent. Other cities with significant bot infected machines are  Bangalore, Hyderabad,  Kolkata, Surat, Ahmedabad, Kochi and  Pune.

  • India has  the dubious distinction of being number one in the Asia-Pacific region when it comes to  worms  ( 55 percent) and viruses (  15 percent). Over 65 percent of these worms and viruses are propagated by  file sharing  and executable mechanisms.

Symantec monitors  the web  with 240,000 sensors placed in 200 countries as well as 2.5 million decoy computers. It has  8 dedicated  response centres, worldwide, one of them in Pune, India.

Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, Symantec India, who unveiled the India-specific findings in Bangalore last week, warns  that  the  popular social networking sites are increasingly in the radar of  Internet criminals. He also  hinted to IndiaTechOnline,  that  ' taking down'  India's brand equity as a global leader in outsourced  IT services  could also be on the agenda of many Net baddies who might be proxies for  faceless agencies  abroad.

Link to Symantec's Internet Threat Security Threat microsite:



UPDATE:  Karthik Selvaraj  writes on Symantec's blog page that  www.Jagoore.com ,  the popular Indian online non-profit portal that provides several voter services, including voter registration, voter list searching, election information, and assembly constituency searching  has been the victim of   web baddies  who added malicious javascript payload  that would have affected thousands of computers through  Adobe acrobat reader.  However the website has now been cleaned. Such is the price of popularity!