PDF Malware on the Rise: MessageLabs

It’s always a good practice not to open attachments that land in your email inbox when you’re not sure who the sender is. But that best practice seems all the more important in light of the latest findings from MessageLabs.

The firm, a unit of Symantec, is reporting that 65 percent of targeted attacks last year used PDFs as a vehicle for the exploit, up more than 12 percentage points from 2009.

“Despite a downturn this month, if the trend were to continue as it has over the past year, 76 percent of targeted malware could be used for PDF-based attacks by mid-2011,” MessageLabs said in its report.

What’s more, MessageLabs reported that malicious email overall was on the rise last month, with one in every 290 messages posing a threat. The firm also warns of a potential alignment of noted “malware families” Zeus, Bredolab and SpyEye.

eSecurity Planet takes a look.

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Rate of Malicious Email Spikes: MessageLabs

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