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Economic Slowdown Hit Malware Creators

According to G Data, a German-based software security firm, the economic downturn is resulting in decline of number of malicious codes. The firm indicated that there had been a 30% drop in the total number of distinct signatures malware in the period May-June 2009. During June 2009, the security firm detected 83,072 malware samples, down from 123,581 samples detected during May, however, only slightly down from 93,785 in April.

Ralf Benzmller, Manager of G Data Security Labs, states that the drop in malware is a result of the same forces that have struck the legitimate sectors, according to the reports from NetworkWorld published on July 6, 2009. Conversely, the firm contends that cyber criminals now have limited funds for investment in malware generation that has resulted in the drop.

Benzmller further states that like the legitimate economy, the parallel (black) economy too operates through the demand and supply criteria of business. Accordingly, the world economic crisis has hit the e-crime market as well. After dumping monetary values for spam dispatch, the economic downturn has currently come to the doorsteps of malicious code-writers. Thus, it is expected that new malware statistics will stagnate during July 2009, according to Benzmller.

G Data's security analysts said that in case criminals became constrained of money to invest in malware creation, it will mean lesser number of trojans and other forms of advanced malicious software. However, less expensive kinds of e-crime like spam will increase. Spam always increases due to better detection mechanisms that compel criminals to dispatch greater amounts of junk e-mails.

Additionally, other kinds of online assaults like Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks, targeted and direct extortion assaults might also increase, the security analysts said.

Benzmller predicts that the hard conditions of the economy could lead to social engineering tactics and malware to rise. According to him, while the most recent global catastrophes or other events constantly supply fodder to cyber criminals in devising ever-new attack modes against victims, there will certainly continue to be peaks for individual instances.

Related article: Economic Crisis Hot Topic for Online Fraudsters

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