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Malware: The Agents Of Cyber-Crime

There is an increasing prevalence of malicious spam and cyber crime that
is difficult to control. Among the newly discovered malware that PandaLabs
detected during the second quarter this year, eighty-eight percent have
been found to be associations with criminal activities. This is among the
discoveries made in the new PandaLabs report that takes an international
perspective of malware variations for this period.

It dispels any doubt that the new dynamic for malware is primarily
financial profit. The free online scanner found 40 percent of all detected
malware to be spyware, a variation of the malicious coding intended for
monetary gains. The revelation was made largely through data compilation
of users' Internet activities.

Trojans including a new variant 'Banker Trojans' that target bank-related
confidential information and Droppers or Downloaders, comprised 12
percent. dialers comprised 3.5 percent of the malicious code . These are
designed to secretly dial up premium rate numbers without the users being
aware of it and bots a malware variation in a complex business model for
sale and rental of networks of infected computers took up 16 percent.

Among the latest variations of malware that have come to light over the
first three months of 2006, none has been as prominent as Trojans. The
highly versatile trojans have a wide range of malicious capabilities. It
is therefore only expected that creators of malware use them extensively
in designing new malware.

Next on the list were bots, highlighting the increasing tendency of cyber
criminals to favor this form of malicious code. It helps in building
networks that can either be purchased or hired to whoever makes the best
offer.

The explanation from the director of Panda Labs, Luis Corrons, is that the
results indicate malware creators focusing on profits with trojans and
bots in greater numbers. The main threat is that they install themselves
and secretly function without betraying any typical infection symptoms to
the users. Thus they fall victim without suspecting that their PCs are
being controlled externally for stealing either from them or from others.
It creates an illusion of being safe which makes it easier for the
attackers to achieve their aims.

Enterprises are advised to seek tools capable of both scanning and
authentication to ensure that logon credentials are denied until the
completion of the integrity check. Safe computing should also be practiced
by refraining from clicking links and avoiding suspicious websites apart
from updating security tools everyday.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

ยป SPAMfighter News - 06-09-2006

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