Malware continuing at unrelenting pace

In its annual Malware Development Review, Kaspersky Lab has announced that while 2004 has seen the development of malware and its...

In its annual Malware Development Review, Kaspersky Lab has announced that while 2004 has seen the development...

of malware and its methodology continuing at an unrelenting pace.

The review said that most of the malware that has been endured this year was a development and refinement of code that has been seen before but with some interesting new trends, for example the use of links in e-mails as an alternative to attached files.

David Emm, senior technology consultant, Kaspersky Lab noted in the review, “So far, e-mails containing links have not been treated with suspicion by recipients, many of whom are much more likely to follow a link than they are to double-click an attachment. In addition, this method effectively "skips over" the perimeter defences deployed at the internet gateway by many enterprises.

Much of today’s malware is a composite "bundle" containing several pieces of code. Increasingly this includes a Trojan of one kind or another. Typically Trojans are dropped onto the system by a virus or worm. Since Trojans do not have their own on-board replication capability, they are often perceived as being less dangerous than viruses or worms.

A related, and worrying, trend is the commercialisation of the use of malware and the ever increasing involvement of dangerous international criminal gangs.

However, Kaspersky said that it was not all bad news - there were also a significant number of arrests of malicious code writers.

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