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Hackers Running Dry of New Ideas

A study by Russian anti-virus firm, 'Kaspersky Lab' says that virus writers are running out of new ideas in creating malware. Kaspersky Lab thinks that although the hacking community is building "proof of concept" code for new bases, it may not really result in malware's capability to cause enough damage.

According to Alex Gostev, 'senior virus analyst' at 'Kaspersky Lab', the staggering trends during 2006 show that virus writers are running out of new ideas. They are excitedly trying to secure their creations against new protective mechanisms by writing 'proof of concept' code for new platforms. But these creations have still not acquired a strong footing. The threats that are now emerging do not appear to cause millions and millions of pounds of damage, as 'Klez', 'MyDoom', 'Lovesan' and 'Sasser' were able to do in the past.

The study thinks virus authors are suffering from 'writer's block', which means writers of malicious code; much alike Hollywood production studios, are doling out a series of uninteresting events.

Gostev says the present moment is facing a combination of occasionally interesting and the periodically highly technical malware, for e.g., virus using cryptographic techniques. Overall, the intensity seems to have lowered. Present day threats are no longer worldwide and are not effective for the entire period of their usage. Nothing new is really happening. The same Trojans, viruses and worms keep coming up with the only difference that the numbers have markedly increased.

The study also assesses the fundamental malware trends over the period between July and September this year. It found that virus writers during this period focused on a range of Microsoft Office vulnerabilities that were laid bare. They would often release the malware at the time of Microsoft's patch launch to maximize the effect of damage. Hackers from China were particularly involved in this.

Gostev concludes that when the current slag finally breaks, the 'information security' industry will enter a new period. He says that all the events in the third quarter of 2006 makes him believe that there will be something totally new in both the Internet and the area of 'information security'.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

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