Posted by: paragon | October 20, 2006

ScanSafe reports an unexpected 47 percent drop in Web viruses in september

ScanSafe reports an unexpected 47 percent drop in Web viruses in september; spyware increases 21 percent

18 October 06
YouTube Accounted for One in Every 200 Web Pages Viewed in the Workplace during the MonthScanSafe, the global leader in managed Web security, today released its latest Global Threat Report on Web filtering, spyware and viruses. Among the report’s key findings, ScanSafe reported that Web viruses decreased 47 percent in September, despite recent high-profile Microsoft vulnerabilities, and that one in every 200 Web pages viewed in the workplace were YouTube pages.The ScanSafe Global Threat Report is based on real-time analysis of more than five billion Web requests and more than 10 million Web threats processed by the company in September and represents the largest analysis of Web security threats based on real-world traffic. “We were surprised to see such a drop-off in Web viruses during September,” said Eldar Tuvey, CEO and co-founder, ScanSafe. “With all the recent attention on Microsoft vulnerabilities and zero-day exploits, we thought we’d see an increase. Despite the hype, a mass outbreak did not occur in September. In fact, none of the top 10 Web viruses blocked by ScanSafe during the month were exploits of Microsoft vulnerabilities uncovered in September, including the much publicized Vector Markup Language vulnerability,” Tuvey said. “While these vulnerabilities were exploited, the exploits did not occur in high volume.”

On September 20, reports surfaced of a new vulnerability in Internet Explorer specifically targeting a Windows component called vgx.dll. This component is meant to support Vector Markup Language (VML) documents in the Windows operating system. VML is used for high-quality vector graphics on the Web and is used for viewing pages in the Internet Explorer browser.

The company blocked 158 unique viruses during the month, 31 percent of which were new unique viruses – viruses blocked for the first time by ScanSafe. Zero-hour threats—attacks that appear before an anti-virus signature is available—accounted for 14 percent of all Web-viruses blocked by ScanSafe in September.

In addition to its data on Web viruses, ScanSafe reported that spyware and adware increased 21 percent in September and that 8 percent of the spyware blocks were to prevent already infected PCs from “calling home” or transmitting outbound to a spyware domain. “An effective anti-spyware solution should filter both inbound and outbound Web traffic, to identify already infected PCs for remediation and to block them from being further compromised,” Tuvey said.

In August, Web viruses rose 23 percent while spyware decreased 12 percent.

“There is seasonality to Web viruses and spyware,” Tuvey added. “We fully anticipate a jump in malware as consumers go online to start their holiday shopping. As such, we caution users and those responsible for corporate networks not to be lulled into a sense of complacency, but to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from Web threats.”

ScanSafe leverages industry-leading signature-based engines as well as Outbreak IntelligenceTM—ScanSafe’s own proactive heuristics technology, to provide protection from inbound and outbound Web-based threats. Outbreak Intelligence leverages ScanSafe’s position at the Internet-level to proactively identify threats, quickly develop heuristics, and test these against real data to ensure accuracy and effectiveness. ScanSafe’s ability to analyze threats proactively ensures that Outbreak Intelligence heuristics are created and updated for immediate protection from both known and zero-hour threats.

YouTube Accounted for One in Every 200 Web Pages Visited During the Month

In addition to its statistics on Web-based malware, ScanSafe reported that during September one in every 200 Web pages viewed in the workplace were YouTube pages.

“The numbers are a reflection of the widespread popularity of YouTube as a Web destination,” said Tuvey. “Different businesses have different approaches to recreational use of the Web and they should deploy a Web security solution that allows them to set policies that reflect their corporate Web use culture—whether it be restricting, monitoring or allowing access for individual employees or groups of users.”

To obtain a copy of the latest ScanSafe Global Threat Report, send an email to

About ScanSafe

ScanSafe is the global leader in managed Web security, ensuring a safe and productive Internet environment for businesses around the world. The easy-to-use service requires no hardware and delivers real-time, complete protection from the latest Web threats. ScanSafe’s solutions keep viruses and spyware off corporate networks and allow businesses to control and secure the use of the Web and instant messaging applications.

Powered by its proactive Outbreak Intelligence heuristic technology, ScanSafe processes more than five billion Web requests and blocks 10 million threats each month for customers including Rothschild, Condé Nast and BMW.

Since pioneering the market for managed corporate Web security, ScanSafe continues to deliver innovative Web security solutions, including the introduction of ScandooTM—the world’s first free secure Internet search tool that classifies search results based on the presence of malware and unwanted content.

With offices in London and San Mateo, California, ScanSafe is privately owned and financed by Benchmark Capital. The company received the 2006 Info Security Global Product Excellence Award for Best Managed Security Service, and was named one of Red Herring’s Top 100 Technology companies of 2005. For more information, visit scansafe.

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