Evolution of Malware Threat: A Glance at the Past Decade

As per a new study by Microsoft recently estimating the growth of cyber threats, types is assumed to grow up from a mere thousand in 1991 to a million in 2011, as reported by dark reading on March 5, 2012.

According to Microsoft credentials, threat landscape evolved drastically over the past decade. The main highlights of the study include trending statistics on vulnerability disclosures, regional malware, malware and potentially unwanted malware, exploit trends, growth rates for windows update/Microsoft update usage and many more. The findings are quite interesting as it is for the first time that such an exhaustive coverage in malware is carried.

In the research methodology section of the study, Microsoft pointed out that the number of malware threats exploded over a time is taken into account. The increased rate of anti-malware signature files is quite evident in this instance. Recent anti-malware has grown up to a 100 MB in size in 2002 compared to a mere 1 MB or less in the past. An excess of 22,000 signatures were added by Microsoft in 2011 to recognize families' threat.

Sudden disappearance of the viruses and continued upsurge among the socially-engineered malware threats including Trojans were far more frequent. According to the Director of Microsoft, Tim Rains, biggies like Microsoft configure handy software's, for which automatically the standard gets raised for attackers. Rains also denoted that due to these sophisticated socially-engineered software that tactfully compiles malware to entice ignorant users paves the way for Trojan in the social mainstay, thus propelling cyber threats, as published in Dark Reading on March 5, 2012.

However, Trojan Downloaders and Droppers category that affected comparatively less during their detections in 1H06 witnessed a sudden hike in 2009, with the discovery of Win32/Conficker to secure a lead position during 2Q10. Password hackers and monitoring tools, responsible for an insignificant rate of detection in 1H06 continued growing moderately during 2008 and 2009, before a sudden rise in 2Q10.

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