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Malware Falls in Creativity but Rises in Volume

In a recent report by 'Kaspersky Lab Ltd., 'senior virus analyst' Alexander Gostev notes that over the last six months, malware's quality has gone down as also its ability to cause serious damage. The significant instances are those of 'MyDoom' and 'Sasser' worms of the years left behind.

Malware can be in various forms namely 'viruses', 'backdoors', 'keyloggers', 'password stealers', 'Trojan horse programs', 'Word and Excel macro viruses', 'boot sector viruses', 'script viruses' such as 'batch', 'windows shell', 'java' etc. Some other malware are 'Trojans', 'crimeware', 'spyware' and 'adware'.

The freedom that malware writers enjoy is largely responsible for the voluminous increase in malicious code, said Eugene Kaspersky, 'head of antivirus research'.

Although 'law enforcement agencies' put all efforts to strengthen 'international cooperation', many malware authors escape punishment. The anti-spam legislation that has been enforced in many countries has been accused of being ineffective in a number of cases. However, the legislation has facilitated to spread awareness among users to handle unsolicited e-mails especially how to avoid them. Consequently, spammers have been compelled to spread their activities to as many places as possible.

Gostev's lab locates highly technical malware from time to time, but the most common ones have been Trojans, viruses and worms. In many instances hackers simply create variants of existing malware by modifying the older code to pass through anti-virus software.

Kaspersky's Moscow Lab is known to lead in fighting malware. Stanislav Shevchenko, head of the Moscow Kaspersky Lab informs that its analysts had designed 2,000 signatures by 2005. By November 2006, the number increased five-fold to 10,000. These signatures add to a database for use by Kaspersky's antivirus engine that's licensed by other security vendors like 'Juniper Networks Inc.', 'ClearSwift Ltd.,' 'F-Secure'.

The IT security scenario has become somewhat different during recent months. There is a close connectivity among 'credit card fraud' gangs, 'virus writing' gangs, 'spammers' and 'malicious hackers'.

Kaspersky claims that its lab focuses less on determining the source of criminal activity while more on protecting customers. However, the rising online crime makes a direct impact on security companies.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

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