- Vulnerabilities have reached a plateau. There were 3,240 new vulnerabilities discovered in the first half of 2009, an eight percent decrease over the first half of 2008. The rate of vulnerability disclosures in the past few years appears to have reached a high plateau. In 2007, the vulnerability count dropped for the first time, but then in 2008 there was a new record high. The annual disclosure rate appears to be fluctuating between six and seven thousand new disclosures each year.
- PDF vulnerabilities have increased. Portable Document Format (PDF) vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half of 2009 already surpassed disclosures from all of 2008.
- Trojans account for more than half of all new malware. Continuing the recent trend, in the first half of 2009, Trojans comprised 55 percent of all new malware, a nine percent increase over the first half of 2008. Information-stealing Trojans are the most prevalent malware category.
- Phishing has decreased dramatically. Analysts believe that banking Trojans are taking the place of phishing attacks geared toward financial targets. In the first half of 2009, 66 percent of phishing was targeted at the financial industry, down from 90 percent in 2008. Online payment targets make up 31 percent of the share.
- URL spam is still number one, but image-based spam is making a comeback. After nearing extinction in 2008, image-based spam made a comeback in the first half of 2009, yet it still makes up less than 10 percent of all spam.
- Nearly half of all vulnerabilities remain unpatched. Similar to the end of 2008, nearly half (49 percent) of all vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half of 2009 had no vendor-supplied patch at the end of the period.
How is image-based spam making a comeback? I use Gmail and also Outlook both of those disable images by default. Adobe also seems to have a real problem with reader and flash, PDF vulnerabilities are rampant. If you listen to the Security Now podcast (like every IT person should) you will notice that there are almost always problems with Reader/Flash/Shockwave.
Read the full report here http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/28257.wss