Q3 malware costs advertisers $900,000 every day

What cyberattack threat levels have risen in Q3?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Kindsight's Q3 malware report suggests that 13 percent of household networks were infected in Q3, and 6.5 percent of broadband networks are infected with high-level threats.

The network security firm's latest Security Labs Malware Report examined general trends for malware infections in home networks or infections in mobile devices, and computers connected through mobile adapters. 13 percent of home networks were infected with malware in Q3 2012, which is down slightly from 14 percent in Q2. 6.5 percent were infected with serious threats including bots, rootkits and trojans focused on stealing financial details.

The main infection method is through malicious websites that probe for computer vulnerabilities including Alureon, ZeroAccess, Zeus or SpyEye. In addition, phishing emails are a popular method of infection.


ZeroAccess was the most active botnet in Q3. The firm estimates that there are over 2 million infected users worldwide with 685,000 in the United States alone. Potentially a concern for businesses, these bots replicate human action and produce about 140 million fraudulent ad-clicks and 260 terabytes of network traffic per day. Money can also be earned through the latest trend, Bitcoin mining.

Due to the sophisticated behavior of ZeroAccess, infections could be costing advertisers $900,000 per day. Kindsight asked an Internet advertising expert to have a look at the network traffic generated through a 24 hour ZeroAccess behavior analysis, and the expert suggested that 18 out of 140 clicks would likely have resulted in the advertiser paying for the click.

Mobile devices have not been left unscathed. 0.3 percent are infected with "high level" threats, and these products include Android phones and laptops, as well as devices connected through a mobile USB stick. The infection rate is low, however, there was a 165 percent increase in Android malware samples.

For the most part, Android malware is focused on stealing information about the phone or hijacking the device to send SMS messages, but infections that steal financial details and spy on mobile activity are also present.

The top 10 Android infections in Q3. 2012
The top 10 Android infections in Q3. 2012
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