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Zeus Malware Activity Reaches a New High

Zeus malware image

Today’s IP news roundup highlights some of the latest headlines in network security, disaster recovery and more:

  • Computerworld reported that the number of Zeus (or Zbot) variants peaked in May and the increased malware activity is expected to continue through June. Zeus is primarily used in online banking fraud or to gain access to personal data and log-in details. According to Bogdan Botezatu, senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender, cybercriminals make the most use of Zeus in April and May – the end of the US tax season. However, “this trend is expected to continue in June, when spammers usually use hotel and flight booking pretexts to trick victims into opening malicious attachments and infect their computers with financial malware.” For more information on Zeus malware threats, see the Computerworld article.  
  • Google to lengthen its SSL encryption keys in August and use 2,048-bit keys. According to Computerworld, Google will move from 1,024-bit to 2,048-bit SSL encryption keys in August in an effort to improve its security. According to the article, “Keys that are less than 1,024 bits are considered weak.” For more information on this Google security upgrade, see Computerworld.   
  • Bandwidth concerns prevent enterprises from using cloud backup and disaster recovery (DR). According to Gartner’s “Cloud Backup Assessment: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, small- and mid-sized businesses are increasingly using cloud backup and DR options. However, “large enterprises with multiple data centers are leery of cloud-based backup and DR because of insufficient bandwidth and lengthy recovery times. … Instead, they tend to prefer using their own data centers.” Until bandwidth speeds increase enough to make cloud backup and DR feasible, the report recommends that enterprises limit the amount of data they back up to the cloud and choose providers that are located within 100-200 miles of their organization. For more information on cloud backup and DR, see the TechTarget article.  
  • Mobile devices, especially Androids, are at risk of attacks. According to an article on, “Mobile devices are getting hit by a boom in malware similar to the one that hit PCs starting with the rise of the Web.” This is because many mobile devices lack protection and are an easy target for malware creators. The article states that 94% of mobile malware is written for Android, as Google’s mobile OS presents hackers with less of a challenge than does Apple’s iOS. For more information on mobile threats, see the article.
  • And finally … InfoWorld published predictions on what cloud computing will look like in 10 years. Although the buzzword “cloud computing” will rarely be used, the article predicts, “In 10 years, pervasive cloud services will be the standard for assembling business solutions” and these services “should be built around the same set of standards and thus be more compatible, no matter which public provider you leverage.” For more cloud predictions, see the InfoWorld article.

What is your take on today’s news? Feel free to share your opinions below.

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