Threats in June: INF/Autorun Top Threat in Europe and the World; Survey finds the Social Networking/Cybersafety Disconnect

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INF/Autorun, according to the statistical information from ThreatSense.Net, ESET’s cloud-based malware collection system, was the most wide-spread malware both in Europe (5.56%) and globally (6.72%) for the month of June. Running second is Win32/Conficker: in Europe 2.77%, globally 6.72%. INF/Autorun a label that describes a variety of malware using the autorun.inf file as a way to compromise a PC. This file contains information on programs meant to run automatically when removable media (often USB flash drives) are accessed by a Windows PC user. The Win32/Conficker is a network worm originally propagated by exploiting a vulnerability in the Windows operating system. Global Threats According to ESET ThreatSense.Net® (June 2011) Global Threats According to ESET ThreatSense.Net® (June 2011)These are malware oldtimers, new cyber threats lie in the use of social media. A recent Survey commissioned     by ESET and conducted online by Harris Interactive from May 31-June 2, 2011 among 2,027 U.S. adults 18+ found a startling disconnect between user concerns about privacy and security and their actions on social networking sites. The study found that 69% of online social networking account owners are concerned about security on social networking sites, yet one third  of them have never changed their passwords for their social networking accounts and another 15% last changed their password more than one year ago.“Moreover, the survey revealed that one in ten online Americans with social networking accounts have reported that     an unknown party gained unauthorized access to their social networking account to spread malicious links and comments. This is particularly alarming since unauthorized access can threaten account owner’s cybersecurity as well as that of their contacts,” says Randy Abrams, Director of Technical Education at ESET.The survey also found that 67% of account owners claimed that they were concerned about privacy issues, yet 55% of the account owners update their privacy settings less often than once every six months, if ever. This can be problematic. For example, Facebook makes it extremely difficult to know when you need to change settings because they virtually never advise users when they are making changes that may affect user privacy. A common misperception seems to have many users believing that social networking safety and privacy is entirely outside of their control. This is not the case - you can easily improve your online security if you follow these simple guidelines:

  • Use strong passwords.
  • Know your options when it comes to privacy, and check back often.
  • Know who your real “friends” are.

EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA (EMEA)INF/Autorun is repeatedly on top position in European threat statistics with the overall 5.56 percent infection rate. It was the top malware in Austria (4.36%), Spain (4.79%), Ukraine (5.67%), Israel (6.73%), Poland (9.14%) or South Africa (10.38%) among others.European number two on the stats, Win32/Conficker (2.77%) was in top ten of most EMEA countries, including the top position Bulgaria (7.58%) and number two in Ukraine (4.20%) or Spain  (3.09%). Win32/Autoit was the number one threat in Turkey (10.06%).Threats in Europe According to ESET ThreatSense.Net® (June 2011)Threats in Europe According to ESET ThreatSense.Net® (June 2011)About ThreatSense.Net®ThreatSense.Net® is ESET’s in-the-cloud malware collection system utilizing data from users of ESET solutions worldwide.  This continual streaming of information provides ESET Virus Lab specialists with a real-time accurate snapshot of the nature and scope of global infiltrations. Careful analysis of the threats, attack vectors and patterns serves ESET to fine-tune all heuristic and signature updates - to protect its users against tomorrow’s threats.

About ESET

Founded in 1992, ESET is a global provider of security solutions for businesses and consumers. The Company pioneered, and continues to lead, the industry in proactive threat detection. ESET NOD32 Antivirus holds the world record for the number of Virus Bulletin "VB100” Awards, and has never missed a single “In-the-Wild” worm or virus since the inception of testing in 1998. ESET NOD32 Antivirus, ESET Smart Security and ESET Cybersecurity for Mac are trusted by millions of global users and are among the most recommended security solutions in the world.

The Company has global headquarters in Bratislava (Slovakia), with regional distribution headquarters in San Diego (U.S.), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Singapore. ESET has malware research centers in Bratislava, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Prague (Czech Republic), Krakow (Poland), Montreal (Canada), Moscow (Russia), and an extensive partner network in 180 countries.