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McAfee Reports 200 New Computer Attacks Per Minute in 2013

A new report from McAfee says every minute there are more than 200 new computer attacks using a variety of malware.

The report, McAfee Labs Threats Report: Fourth Quarter 2013, noted an increase in Point of Sale attacks, citing Target. McAfee says that it now “has gained an understanding of the exact malware used in this attack.” McAfee says the type of “off the shelf” attack on Target Corporation was a simple text file and the class of attack was “far from advanced.”

The McAfee report noted that after stealing the credit card data they sold it in batches of one to four million at a time. “One popular credit card black market is the Lampeduza Republic,” the report noted. “Its well-organized hierarchy and documented constitution make for a disciplined and functional marketplace. Lampeduza’s network of sales websites is very active and contains many lots specific to these recent retail attacks. Thieves can pay for the stolen credits cards using one of the many anonymous virtual currency mechanisms, such as Bitcoin.”

The report said criminals behind the campaigns are particularly dangerous and McAfee doesn’t see the issue going away anytime soon. “We believe these breaches will have long-lasting repercussions,” the report said. “We expect to see changes to security approaches and compliance mandates and, of course, lawsuits. But the big lesson is that we face a healthy and growing cybercrime industry.”

McAfee also noted a significant increase in malware and ransomware attacks on mobile devices. It collected 2.47 million new Android sample attacks in 2013, a 197 percent increase over 2012. Ransomware attacks, where the virus shuts down the application until the owner pays a ransom to the hacker, doubled from the fourth quarter of 2012 to 2013, according to the report.

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