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Trend Micro – Cyber Criminals Actively Working to Make More Profits in 2009

While malware creators are very quick to release a code as soon as vulnerability is found, threat researchers at Trend Micro witnessed malware exploits faster than ever during 2008.

Researchers state that this was partially because of "in-the-cloud" threat models and architectures hackers have created for generating profit, making the web an important tool to spread malware. Most of these threats are circulated via the Internet cloud, attacking everyone who surfs the Internet.

Exploits like DNS (Domain-Name-Server) changing malware that can direct any computer user to any website grew more aggressively in 2008. Browser exploits such as zero day exploit for Microsoft Internet Explorer became a favorite of hackers during 2008. In addition, attacks were also launched against other browsers (all done carefully and secretly) before security firms were able to repair these flaws.

Moreover, data-stealing malware also witnessed robust growth in 2008. Data stealing malware aims at capturing personal information from users' systems and send it to either bot herder or some criminal operators for direct misappropriation or for resale in the digital black market.

Trend Micro's research reveals that the US is the most spammed country, with 22.5% of total spam, while Europe is the most spammed continent. China's share has also expanded recently, reaching 7.7% in 2008 against 5.23% or less in Russia, Brazil and the Republic of South Korea.

Trend Micro cautions that the financial gain will continue to trigger the development of new malware in 2009. Thus, the security firm adds that web threats will include several vectors to avoid being caught. These threats will make use of new techniques and methods in 2009, like DNS changer Trojan, as malware creator employ the best tool available.

Moreover, an increase in ransomware may take place in the 2nd half of 2009, attacking small to medium sized firms instead of individual home users. Firms with limited budgets are particularly vulnerable to hackers who demand heavy pay-offs.

Security experts have advised computer users to install a multi-layered protection strategy to lessen these risks. Further, firms should educate their employees about these threats so that they can better prepare themselves to deal with such threats.

Related article: Trend Micro Detects Spam Mail Declaring World War III

» SPAMfighter News - 14-04-2009

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