Tag Archives: MessageLabs

New Symantec Cloud Based Security Solution for Small and Medium Sized Groups Announced

image On the whole, businesses, at every level, have virtually the identical need to protect computer systems as you and I. It’s just a matter of degree.

Both businesses, and individuals, need protection against viruses, spyware, rootkits, spam, phishing, and other types of malware.

One major difference does exist however. You and I, at a personal level, uncomfortable as it may be, are likely to survive a malware infection with either limited, or no cost.

Not so a business. Computers, and automated business systems, have become crucial to the effective operation, and stability, of most businesses. Downtime, caused by cybercrime, can have lasting impact on a business’s long term viability and reputation.

Given the current threat conditions on the Internet, small and medium sized business, now, more than ever, need an effective cyber security plan. A plan that is relatively simple – but comprehensive, and in keeping with the realities of the present business environment – cost effective.

Based on these recognized needs, Symantec Hosted Services today announced a new cloud-based service, designed specifically with the SMB market in mind.

According to Symantec “Customers will now be able to protect their Windows-based laptops, desktops, and file servers from the proliferation and growing sophistication of threats with the simplicity and convenience of a cloud-based service.”

By taking advantage of this cloud based service, Symantec clients will realize considerable savings; since there is no need for additional hardware, or management software.

At the moment, Symantec Hosted Endpoint Protection is available only to customers in North America.

Fast facts:

Comprehensive Protection for Customer Systems: Advanced technologies for antivirus, antispyware, firewall and host intrusion prevention.

Always-on Protection for Endpoints: Automated updates occur transparently over an Internet connection to keep employee systems current and consistent with client policies when employees are in the office or on the road – even when they’re not logged into their corporate VPN.

Web-based Management Console: Administrators can access the administration portal over a supported Web-browser and corporate VPN access is not required to monitor and manage each computer. Administrators receive real-time alerts via SMS or email and can easily perform functions such as initiate a Live Update to refresh system protection levels, view history on systems and change local policy settings.

Ease of Management: Adds and manages new computers without requiring on-site management servers. Updates occur automatically and new features are introduced as they become available during the subscription period for no additional fee.

Scalable: Flexibility provided through a hosted model allows the solution to scale to incorporate new endpoints quickly and efficiently without requiring additional hardware or management software.

Fast to Deploy: Can be quickly deployed to users via standard download, an email invitation or silently pushed to the customer’s network.

To sign up for a Hosted Endpoint Free Trial visit Symantec’s MessageLabs.

About Symantec:

Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world.  Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available here.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Business Applications, Cloud Computing Applications, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Interconnectivity, MessageLabs, Networking, Software, Software Trial Versions, Symantec, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

Webmail Phishing Attacks – The True Cost

MessageLabs points out in this timely report, the true cost of webmail phishing attacks, and the impact such attacks can have on the victims of this cyber-criminal activity.

Courtesy of MessageLabs:

image In the wake of the news reports this week of the large-scale webmail phishing attacks, much of the coverage has surrounded the compromise of email accounts which, according to the numbers, affected a massive amount of webmail users.

However, what has been glossed over is the potential impact on the other aspects of the victims’ online lives. The bad guys likely now have more than just access to users’ email accounts, they have access to a host of other online services the victim uses.

“A user’s unique email address is often used to authenticate a number of web sites, including social networking sites and Instant Messaging on a public Instant Messaging (IM) network,” said Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Symantec. “If your email address has been compromised, not only should you change the password there, you should also change it on any other site that uses that email address as a log in ID.”

Once the bad guys have email account information and the will to take over a related social networking accounts, all they need to do is try the password reminder links from the login pages. They can then not only use your email to spam, they can also gain access to other personal information stored online.

Over the last year, MessageLabs Intelligence has tracked a number of phishing attacks using Instant Messaging whereby the bad guys collected real IM user account information and passwords and used them to send commercial messages to everyone on the user’s buddy list.

An invitation to view a funny video or embarrassing pictures by clicking on a link in an IM was the bait and the landing site would then ask the victim to log in with their IM user name and password. For public IM networks, the user name is often the same as the web-based email account.

Phishing isn’t the only way the bad guys can gain access to webmail accounts. MessageLabs Intelligence has been aware of an increase in the number of “brute-force” password breaking attempts, where dictionary attacks are used against online webmail accounts to break in, perhaps using POP3 or webmail to conduct the attacks.

Users with simple or weak passwords are the most vulnerable. On the website, an attacker will be asked to solve a CAPTCHA puzzle to prove they are a real person. CAPTCHAs can be easily bypassed using a variety of CAPTCHA-breaking tools.

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Filed under Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Email, email scams, Interconnectivity, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Malware Reports, MessageLabs, Online Safety, Windows Tips and Tools

The State of Spam – Symantec Reveals the Top U.S. Spammed States

Courtesy of MessageLabs

MessageLabs today unveiled a list of the top U.S. spammed states… and the results may surprise you. The spam capital of the US is Idaho with 93.8 percent of spam, far exceeding the global spam rate for September 2009 of 86.4 percent.

Idaho has jumped 43 spots since 2008 when it was ranked the 44th most spammed state. The difference can be attributed to the resilient and aggressive botnet market as well as a higher volume of global spam that has ensued since the beginning of the credit crisis toward the end of 2008.


There are currently between four million and six million computers scattered across the globe that have been compromised to form the powerful botnets responsible for the majority of spam. They’re used by cybercriminals to send out more than 87% of all unsolicited mail, equating to approximately 151 billion emails a day.

The top spammed U.S. states in order: Idaho, Kentucky, New Jersey, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Maryland.

“Some of the high spam levels seen across the US can be attributed to the economic challenges experienced globally since the end of 2008 as well as Internet advancement including the high adoption of social networking,” said Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Symantec. “Spammers have taken full advantage of both the economic uncertainty of some and the trustworthiness of others for their own rewards. Automated tools, resilient botnets and targeted spam campaigns are all part of the spammers’ toolkit and they are constantly evolving these techniques to outsmart any effort to stop them. No state is immune to the affects of spam.”

The least spammed? The US territory of Puerto Rico, with 83.1 percent of spam (just below  the global average spam level). Puerto Rico retained its status among the least spammed states since 2008. Other states with the least amount of spam: Montana, Alaska, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Florida.

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Filed under Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Email, Interconnectivity, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Reports, Online Safety, Symantec, Windows Tips and Tools

Spammers Go Short – Cut Link Lengths

The presence of shortened URLs in spam has skyrocketed over the past few days and now appears in more than two percent of all spam, according to MessageLabs Intelligence.

With many social networking sites providing character restrictions on status updates and messages, the use of free URL redirection services which turn lengthy web addresses into shortened URLs, is increasing in popularity with spammers for a number of reasons.

According to Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Symantec – “There are literally dozens of websites that offer URL shortening services and spammers have realized that using these services eliminates the need to solve a CAPTCHA or register an account.”

“The newly shortened URLs also help cybercriminals disguise the true destination of where their victims will click through to, posing further risks of entering websites used to conduct drive-by malware attacks as well as spam. Donbot, the botnet responsible for sending approximately five billion spam messages every day, is one of the main culprits using this technique. Links of any size all need to be treated with caution.” Since you are a cautious Internet user, you know that, right?


For more information on email security, checkout MessageLabs Solutions.

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Filed under bots, Don't Get Hacked, Email, email scams, Interconnectivity, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Windows Tips and Tools