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Adware Uses Trickery to Catapult onto Threats

Press Release

Adware Uses Trickery to Catapult onto Fortinet’s Most-Reported Threats for May 2008

Bagful of Adware Tricks Snares Users with Virus Protection Offer

SYDNEY, Australia. Jun. 3, 2008 – Fortinet® - the pioneer and leading provider of unified threat management (UTM) solutions - today announced the top 10 most reported high-risk threats for May 2008. The strongest development of the month showed adware Vapsup flooding users with advertisements for rogue virus protection software. Vapsup jumped 42 positions to land on the second spot, just .01 percent behind persistent malware leader, Netsky.

“Judging by the high level of activity by Vapsup in the past month, the cyber criminals behind this adware should be getting a huge payday,” said Derek Manky, security researcher for Fortinet.

Vapsup had a bagful of tricks and scare tactics to lure the unsuspecting user into clicking affiliate links. These tricks included using plug-ins that hi-jack control of the users’ Web browser navigation, and rogue antivirus scanner pop-ups. The incentive for all this trickery was the per-click payouts through affiliate marketing programs linking back to servers located mostly in Russia and the U.S.

Fortinet’s FortiGuard™ Global Security Research Team compiled this report based on intelligence gathered from FortiGate™ multi-threat security systems in production worldwide. Customers who use Fortinet’s FortiGuard Subscription Services are already protected against the threats outlined in this report.

Additional malware trends observed during this period include the following:

• Online gaming Trojan activity continues in Asia, still concentrated in Taiwan and China;

• An Iframe injection campaign runs strong through Iframe.DN, pointing to Korean servers;

• Parasitic file infector, Virut.A, which made itself known in March remains in the top five for three consecutive months, showing longevity.

Top Ten Individual Threats in May 2008
Rank Threat Name Threat Type % of Detections Top 100 Shift
1 W32/Netsky!similar Mass mailer 8.18 -
2 Adware/Vapsup Adware 8.17 +42
3 HTML/Iframe_CID!exploit Exploit 6.25 -
4 W32/Virut.A Virus 5.05 +1
5 W32/Pushdo.EV@mm Trojan 3.49 new
6 W32/OnLineGamesEncPK.fam!tr.pws Trojan 2.35 -
7 HTML/Iframe.DN!tr.dldr Trojan 1.99 +7
8 W32/MyTob.BH.fam@mm Mass mailer 1.99 -
9 W32/OnLineGames.ADRE!tr.pws Trojan 1.72 new
10 W32/Zafi.E@mm Mass mailer 1.65 +8

Top Five Families in May 2008
Rank Malware Family Percentage Top 10 Shift
1 Netsky 14.0 -
2 MyTob 8.0 -
3 Virut 5.5 +1
4 Pushdo 3.7 +1
5 MyDoom 2.5 +1

To read the full May report, please visit:

For ongoing threat research, bookmark the FortiGuard Center ( or add it to your RSS feed by going to To learn more about FortiGuard Subscription Services, visit

FortiGuard Subscription Services offer broad security solutions including antivirus, intrusion prevention, Web content filtering and anti-spam capabilities. These services enable protection against threats on both application and network layers. FortiGuard Services are continuously updated by the FortiGuard Global Security Research Team, which enables Fortinet to deliver a combination of multi-layered security intelligence and true zero-day protection from new and emerging threats. These updates are delivered to all FortiGate, FortiMail and FortiClient products.

About Fortinet (
Fortinet is the pioneer and leading provider of ASIC-accelerated unified threat management, or UTM, security systems, which are used by enterprises and service providers to increase their security while reducing total operating costs. Fortinet solutions were built from the ground up to integrate multiple levels of security protection--including firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, VPN, spyware prevention and anti-spam -- designed to help customers protect against network and content level threats. Leveraging a custom ASIC and unified interface, Fortinet solutions offer advanced security functionality that scales from remote office to chassis-based solutions with integrated management and reporting. Fortinet solutions have won multiple awards around the world and are the only security products that are certified in seven programs by ICSA Labs: (Firewall, Antivirus, IPSec, SSL, Network IPS, and Anti-Spyware). Fortinet is privately held and based in Sunnyvale, California.


Copyright © 2008 Fortinet, Inc. All rights reserved. Fortinet is a registered trademark of Fortinet, Inc. FortiGate, FortiOS, FortiAnalyzer, FortiASIC, FortiCare, FortiManager, FortiWiFi, FortiGuard, FortiClient, FortiReporter and other names are trademarks of Fortinet, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.


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