Three million security threats in 2009Botnets drive an increase in malware and spam

12 January 2010

Keep your PC safe with our essential security tips

Over 3 million new security threats were identified in 2009 or one every 10.8 seconds, according to research from a security firm.

The majority of spam and malware now comes from botnets, or automated software robots, says Network Box.

To keep your computer safe install one of our Best Buy security software suites 

Another shift was an increase in targeted vulnerability attacks where hackers actively seek out security holes in applications, web browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 and Google Chrome and in company servers.

Microsoft not the only target for hackers

Historically, Microsoft has been the prime target for hackers but during 2009 their attention appears to have broadened. This has led to other big software companies reporting critical vulnerabilities in their programs.

Adobe, for example, announced vulnerabilities in its PDF and Acrobat programs. Wordpress blogs have also been susceptible to multiple vulnerabilities leading to passwords being compromised.

Browsers such as Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera have also announced critical vulnerabilities.

Worryingly, there’s also been an increase in the number of Trojans stealing personal data such as passwords, information from social networking sites and financial log in details.

Read our review of online banking security 

Trojan threats on the rise

During 2010 computer users should watch out for banking Trojans such as Zeus and Urlzone, which re-writes your online bank statement to cover its tracks once the money has been taken and Clampi, which steals banking log-in details.

Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing said: ‘Increasingly, you won’t see any physical signs that your computer is under attack. It’s imperative that everyone takes steps to secure their computer using our Best Buy security software and by installing updates for their operating systems and programs regularly.’

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