McAfee cites USB worm as biggest threat

There are hundreds of viruses and malware that worm their way around the web, and if we were to write about them all we’d go a little bit grey. So we decided to take a look at what the security boffins are sweating about this week.

McAfee is citing a worm that spreads via USB flash drives as the biggest security threat to PC users.

In its Threat Report: First Quarter 2010, the security company said an AutoRun-related infection was also the world’s third biggest PC threat during the first three months of the year. It said the threat, which had been big a few years back, had made another appearance due to the increase in people working remotely.

It said the other top five biggest PC threats were made up of password-stealing Trojans.

It also said malware and spam in Thailand, Romania, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Colombia, Chile and Brazil had surged.

The security vendor said this was down to the significant growth of web use in these countries coupled with a lack of security awareness.

However other security companies have said the threats they have been seeing don’t correspond with McAfee. Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos said although it was common for viruses to spread via USB stick it “wasn’t necessarily the biggest threat out there.”

He said the company had seen lots of email generated scams such as those from delivery companies that urge you to click on a link and spread viruses through this. He also said over the weekend a huge Facebook scam with a bogus video link had hit users. The video promised to be “the world’s sexiest video” and had a thumbnail of a girl riding a bike with the camera firmly focused on her derriere.

“The world’s sexiest video attack hacks into a friends accounts and urges their friends to click on the link. Once it does this a virus is spread and it also spreads itself onto other people’s profiles,” he said.