McAfee’s Cyber Threat Report

Zacks Investment Research

Security major McAfee, Inc. (NYSE:MFE) recently released its “Cyber Security Threats” report for the first quarter of 2011. The company cited samples of around six million unique recorded malware in the first quarter, thus making it the most active first quarter in malware history.

The report contains a host of information, which indicates trends that may impact institutional as well as individual users. The report revealed the fact that the spam has remained at its lowest level since the beginning of 2007, and confirmed that mobile malware is the latest in cyber crime.

The data from the threat report testifies that the first quarter has been the busiest for Malware developers. The company believes that despite a slowdown in spam during the quarter, cyber criminals are working on new mechanisms to attack the cyber world. The company is seeing a lot of emerging threats in segments like Android malware and new botnets, which are expected to have a major impact on cyber security on a sequential basis.

Malware is affecting not just PCs, but smartphones and other internet devices as well. With the growing popularity of the Android-based Internet devices, the operating system attracts plenty of mobile malware services, and was the second most popular operating environment for mobile malware behind Symbian OS during the first quarter of 2011.

On the positive side, the reduction in the programming of major zombies and command structures has resulted in a decline in spam volumes across the globe. Spam volumes were nearly halved from the level in the year-ago quarter.

The security major has also been able to figure out the popular tricks adopted by hackers to inject the malwares into the client PC. In Russia and South Korea, drug spam was the most popular; and in Australia and China, fake delivery status notifications were widely used.

The first quarter also ushered in a new trend among “banker” Trojans, malware that steal passwords and other data using popular lures in their spam campaigns such as UPS (NYSE:UPS), FedEx (NYSE:FDX), USPS and the IRS.

We believe the growing cyber threat will create new opportunities for companies including McAfee, now a part of Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) and Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) and also new entrants like Kaspersky, to generate additional business. No business firm wants to lose their useful online resources and offline business resources, so they will be attracted to modern Internet security software to save their organizations.

 
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