Malicious web sites and emails have reached their highest levels in months, according to a recent report from Symantec.
The security firm's March 2009 MessageLabs Report found that the number of new sites harbouring malware jumped by 197 per cent over the past month, at a rate of 2,797 new sites every day.
Levels of malicious spam have also risen to their highest levels since the fourth quarter of 2009, when spam traffic was dramatically reduced by the shutdown of McColo.
The attacks continued to follow popular trends, according to the Symantec researchers. Events such as Saint Patrick's Day and the NCAA basketball tournament were popular lures, and attackers continued to exploit the economic crisis.
The report also identified new infection techniques. Recent attacks have favoured tactics such as injecting malicious script code into images, and targeting security flaws in web browsers.
"Having been focused on email tactics for the latter half of 2008 and early 2009, the cyber criminals are turning their attention towards web-related tactics, so as not to become too predictable," said senior MessageLabs analyst Paul Wood. "Their goals of financial gain and espionage remain the same, however."
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