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Security Report Symantec: Spam, Virtualization to plague the industry

CW Malaysia is running this long article. They do talk about some very critical issues here.

According to Symantec Malaysia, the biggest security issues faced in the country during 2007 were from spam and virtualisation.

  • SpamSymantec’s Internet Security Threat Report Vol XII reported that 77 per cent of total spam in Asia Pacific & Japan originated in Malaysia. Globally, spam reached new record levels this year. Image spam declined while PDF spam emerged. Greeting-card spam was also responsible for delivering Storm Worm malware (also known as Peacomm). Spam was on a steady decline until it rebounded in June, and steadily climbed through the end of the year, hitting an all-time high of 70.5 per cent in October.

  • Virtual machine security implications — Businesses have increasingly adopted virtualisation technology to maximise hardware usage, increase scalability and lower total cost.

Symantec has found some key potential vulnerabilities of virtualisation technology:

  • Escape from virtualised environments — In a worst case scenario, a threat may utilise a vulnerability in a guest operating system to break out and attack the host operating system.

  • Use of virtualisation by malicious code — This is considered one of the most advanced Rootkit methods. Research projects such as SubVirt, BluePill and Vitriol demonstrate how this might be achieved.

  • Detection of virtualised environments — Software virtual machines are relatively easy to detect. Malicious code may use this knowledge to exploit a known vulnerability in the virtual environment.

  • Denial of service — Attackers can crash the Virtual Machine Monitor (a software) or a component of it, leading to a complete or partial denial of service.

CW Malaysia here


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