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AppRiver Releases 2011 Year-End Spam Report and Presents 2012 Forecast

AppRiver, LLC, a leading provider of email messaging and Web security solutions, today released its year-end Threat and Spamscape report, a detailed summary and analysis of spam and malware trends traced over the course of 2011. Also in the report are the company's security trend predictions for 2012.


During the past year alone, AppRiver quarantined more than 670 million messages carrying email-borne viruses.


Fred Touchette, report author and senior security analyst at AppRiver, warns that 2012 could bring even more threats. Specifically, AppRiver predicts:


  • Rise of Mobile Malware-Mobile malware threats will continue to rise as the growing number of mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, give cyber criminals new avenues to steal money and wreak havoc.
  • More Social Engineering-No amount of equipment, gear, or money can stand in the way of what will likely remain the weakest component of all security systems - the human factor. Humans are notoriously trusting and maintain an underlying desire to help others in need. And, that's why we remain easy targets.
  • Social Networking Scams-Today, nearly everyone has a Facebook account, if not several social networking accounts hosted on different sites. Since people and their money are established targets, cybercriminals will continue to go where the people are. Facebook and Twitter will remain popular sites to host malware campaigns posing as messages from "friends".
  • Targeted Malware-Incredibly complex pieces of malware like the infamous Stuxnet Worm and its cousin Duqu, made their way to specific targets with incredible swiftness and accuracy. There's no doubt that this type of attack, whether it be government sponsored or otherwise, will be at least as prevalent if not more so in 2012.
  • Hacktivism-Groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec gained a lot of notoriety in 2011. Because of the highly publicized events from these two groups, we are sure to see copycat groups attempt similar acts. Whether they are intended to be in the interest of the people, cause mischief, or offer a confused blend of both, major corporations or entities will likely be targeted.


"Cybercrime, unfortunately, is not going anywhere since we increasingly rely on technological advancements for convenience and entertainment," said Touchette. "The best thing we can do is remain vigilant by keeping software up to date and adopting a layered cyber-security strategy."


Touchette also discusses specific attacks and general themes from last year in AppRiver's Threat and Spamscape report. "2011 brought a lot of varied activity to the realm of cyber security," said Touchette. "World events helped steer large malware campaigns as Japan and New Zealand suffered major tragedies that kept the rest of the world hungry for information. That, unfortunately, led many victims into malicious online traps."

Malware also proved its role in the world of cyber warfare with the Stuxnet worm. "We knew that the use of malware for cyber espionage was imminent, but as Stuxnet was further analyzed and its intentions revealed it became clear that the era of cyber warfare has begun."


To read the full 2011 Year in Review report, please visit: