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Malware rose by 10% in Q3-2010

Kaspersky Labs', 'IT Threat Evolution for Q3-2010' Report, made by its antivirus Analyst, Yury Namestnikov, states that the malware cases increased by 10% as against the second quarter of this year (2010), as per the reports by infosecurity.com on December 22, 2010.

In the third quarter, the IT security vendor claim that the well publicized Stuxnet grabbed the maximum attention, which verifies the theory that malware, has become more refined and sophisticated.

Kaspersky states that on analyzing the worm it was discovered that it was made to modify the login inside programmable logic controllers (PLCs) inserted into inverters which controls the revolving speed of electric motors. These PLCs run at very high speed motors that have restricted applications, like in centrifuges.

Further, as per the report, Stuxnet is the most complicated piece of malware in hackers' arsenal till date.

The report claimed that the epidemic too marks the initiation of the period of attacks on industrial targets. The worm is different as it utilizes as many as four zero-day Windows flaws simultaneously to attack victim systems and includes a rootkit component, which is signed with certificates compromised from integrated circuit manufacturers, Realtek Semiconductors and JMicron, as per the news by computerweekly.com on December 22, 2010.

The report by Kaspersky highlighted that hackers might have got these files from some inside sources or they might have stolen them utilizing a backdoor or some other same malicious software.

Authentic signatures are one of the main reasons that Stuxnet effectively dodged the antivirus software for a long duration. The report said that malware, which were signed by legitimate certificates can simply escape even the latest protection techniques built into Windows 7. So, when a signed harmful driver or an ActiveX element is installed on a system, windows doesn't display any kind of warning.
In addition, as per the report, refined malware which can operate on 64-bit platforms also rose in Q3-2010. In Q3, exploiting vulnerabilities, as usual, has remained famous within the hackers group.

The report added that four latest vulnerabilities came up in the quarterly ranking: two in Adobe Flash Player products, one in Adobe Reader and one in Microsoft Office. Also, the leading 10 included three vulnerabilities found in 2009 and one found in 2008.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

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