Security Firm Warns of Increase in Holiday Themed Malware Attacks

Paul Lilly

GFI Software, a security firm specializing in various software for small to medium-sized business, says to be on the lookout for Halloween-themed malware attacks.

The company's dedicated malware research center, GFI Labs, has been busy analyzing data from its ThreatNet monitoring system that retrieves real-time stats from tens of thousands of PCs running VIPRE antivirus software. What they found was an increase in the number of Trojans making the rounds in the days leading up to Halloween compared to last year.

"Eight of the top 10 threat detections currently spreading on the Internet are Trojans, up from six during October last year," GFI Labs says . "Furthermore, three of the top 10 threat detections from last year's Halloween season are still on the list, highlighting the lasting impact of this type of malware long after the holiday is over."

Specifically, GFI Labs says be extra cautious when it comes to Halloween tweets and "likes" posts on social media sites, SEO poisoning (in which links to malicious sites show up in search engine results for holiday queries), typo attacks to take advantage of increased holiday traffic to commonly misspelled URLs, and sites offering contests that require signing up to questionable subscription services billed to cell phones.

"Like any holiday, Halloween presents opportunities for malware distributors to gain an extra edge over an unsuspecting public," said Tom Kelchner, Communications and Research Analyst at GFI. "Users should be more careful than ever when interacting with web sites unless they are positive that it comes from a trusted source."

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