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Trojans dominated February IT security threats landscape says GFI

The report also confirmed the supremacy of Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT - aka SecurityShield - in pole position, soaring up the charts to account for 22.97% of detected threats during February.

GFI says that the trojans were in addition to a number of high-profile phishing attacks targeting UK retailers such as Play.com.

These trojans, says the company, are downloaders associated with rogue security programs known as scareware. Once they are on a user's system, these programs perform a fake scan of a victim's computer for malware then display false warnings that the machine is infected in an attempt to convince victims to purchase fake security software.

Chris Boyd, GFI Labs' senior security researcher, said the Security Shield rogue became very noticeable during February, with many comments posted to his firm's rogue security software blog regarding the infection.

"These types of attacks notoriously cause a great deal of stress for the victim in addition to simply infecting their computer", he said.

Alongside trojans, Boyd says that PDF exploits continued to be problematic during February, showing a small increase since January.

"February has also seen continued use of fake Java applet installs to infect PCs with ,malware, Alureon infected videogame patches distributed on P2P networks and phishing attempts targeting customers of the popular online retailer Play.com", he said.

"With new attacks popping up every day, users need to always stay cautious and research programs they plan to download when there is any doubt", he added.