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250,000 Malware Variants Recorded in 2007 Alone

F-Secure, the Finnish security vendor, has recorded huge samples of malicious software in 2007 that is double the number of the last twenty years, reflecting a trend of increasing threat from malware in the wild.

In 2007 alone, F-Secure has collected a massive 250,000 samples of malware, said Chief Research Officer for F-Secure, Mikko Hypponen. PC World published this in news on December 4, 2007.

Statistics on malicious software from anti-virus firms can be different from one firm to another as the data is based on customers' experience of using the company's software, which, in turn, depends on the popularity of that software.

F-Secure said that in a short time, it expects the Storm worm creators to hire out their botnet to other online criminals and make business from it.

F-Secure also notes that trojans designed to steal login information of online bank accounts and trojans designed to capture passwords from Internet games increased in number in 2007, and this popularity is likely to continue in 2008 as well.

According to Security Response Manager for F-Secure, Runald, the company is detecting banking trojans every day that ranged between 10 and 40 new variants. InformationWeek published Runald's statement on December 5, 2007.

F-Secure noticed that while no new technologies were used to develop malware, criminals refined the existing ones and adapted them for greater effectiveness. The primary method to propagate malware continued to be social engineering and criminals are using more productive kits and tools to develop their malicious codes, F-Secure said.

Clearly, financial transactions continue to be the objective of network crime. The number of phishing sites is also increasing, but with rise in awareness among bank customers about threats from phishing, the criminals are adopting new approaches with greater sophistication.

According to Hypponen, hackers seem to intentionally generate massive numbers of malware variants to put anti-virus vendors in a difficult situation. ComputerWorld published this on December 4, 2007.

Other anti-malware vendors have similarly observed a surge of malware over the past few years. In early 2007, Symantec said that it recorded 212,101 new malware threats during January to June, ComputerWorld reported.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 12/15/2007

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