Google: Virus Attacks Skyrocketed In July - InformationWeek

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8/14/2008
10:39 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Google: Virus Attacks Skyrocketed In July

Google's Postini operation keeps a watchful eye on all the malevolent code and viruses that transit the Internet. Last month, it saw e-mail virus attacks surge, with 10 million nasty e-mails sent on July 24th alone.

Google's Postini operation keeps a watchful eye on all the malevolent code and viruses that transit the Internet. Last month, it saw e-mail virus attacks surge, with 10 million nasty e-mails sent on July 24th alone.I am not surprised to see these statistics from Google. I noticed a dramatic increase in the number of spam messages in my in-box beginning last month. According to Google, July and August typically see a boost in the amount of virus attacks. It said the most common attack last month was a "spoofed UPS package-tracking link". In the e-mail, users are tempted to download some sort of malware.

In the Official Google Enterprise Blog, Amanda Kleha of the Google Apps Security & Compliance Team, writes, "Many of the viruses we see follow a similar format, in which an e-mail with an embedded Web site link in the message is changed from what the link displays. Another recent example was a spoofed CNN newsletter sent out by spammers. In this case, the content included current news stories with numerous links in the message. The majority of the links were valid, but there were some that were replaced with malicious links. As soon as our technology started detecting these messages, we implemented a filter to stop these elusive viruses and voila! -- all of our 14 million business users were protected. This network effect and rapid protection against these new tactics is why businesses are increasingly moving their e-mail security into the cloud."

Google says that it already has seen some interesting new attacks this month, as well. In order to help educate its customers, Google is hosting a Webinar for IT pros. It will be held Friday, Aug. 15 (tomorrow) at 10 a.m. PDT. You can find out more about it here.

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