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    Unfortunately for the millions of new and old fans of the Internet, Internet users continue to face more and more risks online. Threats continue to grow, along with the means and ease by which cybercriminals can launch attacks. The Trend Micro 2008 Annual Threat Roundup and 2009 Forecast contains the following important findings and more:

    • TrendLabs reports more than a twenty-fold (2000 percent) increase in web threats between the beginning of 2005 and the end of 2008. Security vendors can hardly catch up in creating signatures for each and every new threat that comes their way–even sample collection becomes an insurmountable challenge.
    • New unique threats increase in 2008

    • TrendLabs has previously observed that for 2008 over 90 percent of all digital threats arrive at their targets via the Internet through a multiplicity of methods. Additionally, from January until November 2008, a staggering 34.3 million PCs were infected with botnet-related malware.
    • Multi-component attacks contribute to the ever-expanding growth of infection chains. Apart from file components, like downloader programs that by itself might appear benign but may in fact be part of a long, convoluted infection chain, cybercriminals use anything from URLs, to email, to instant messages to start or continue the attack or deliver the final payload. While each session might appear non-malicious, an analysis by experts often betrays the entire coordinated attack.
    • Trend Micro researchers can also lay claim to the increasingly professional approach to today’s cybercrime. The motivation remains the same: money. Cybercriminals continue to find niches and segmentize, focusing on specific portions of cybercrime to achieve economies of scale, including hiring people to create sophisticated, professional-grade malware toolkits, to break CAPTCHAs, or to launder money acquired illegally.

    Read more from the Trend Micro 2008 Annual Threat Roundup and 2009 Forecast.

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