Slide Show: Top 10 Malware Advances In 2012
Blackhole's business model, Flashback's Mac fetish, ransomware's resurgence with Reveton, and Gauss' ability to guard against analysis among the game-changers this year
It's frequently said that cybersecurity is an arms race, with defenders constantly adapting to attackers, and attackers finding ways to better evade their target's defenses.
For malware in 2012, the analogy is an apt one. Malicious programs continually evolved in 2012, whether using new technical approaches to infection, novel business models, or demonstrating the vulnerability of areas thought unrelated to cybersecurity. Flashback demonstrated that the Mac OS X had become a viable target for cybercriminals, while the Blackhole Exploit Kit refined the crime-as-a-service business model.
Malware also became a tool of nations in 2012, in many cases aimed at gathering intelligence in the Middle East. While previous years had hinted that nation-states would develop malware as one weapon in their arsenal, half of this year's list of malware was used for political aims. The Da Vinci Trojan illustrated that governments had taken to buying malware for surveillance, while Flame and Gauss hinted at what well-funded adversaries could accomplish. Many other malicious attacks had political aims, even if they were not carried out by governments, says Liam O Murchu, manager of operations for Symantec's security response group.
"We are seeing different motivations coming into play -- that is, revenge or hacktivism," Murchu says. "We don't see the attacks done for as much of a profit motivation, but for political reasons."
Graphic: Kaspersky Lab
Free Research and Reports
- Dell Software Foglight APM 5.9: Introducing Big Data Repository/Reporting Supporting Web Analytics and User-Centric APM
- How Foglight Makes User Experience Management A Reality: Three Case Studies
- Application Performance Monitoring (APM) in the Age of Hybrid Cloud: Ten Key Findings by EMA
- Controlling and Managing Superuser Access
- How Traditional Firewalls Fail
- IT's Worst Nightmare, or Best Hope? - InformationWeek Conference
- The CIO's and IT Organization's Critical Role in Driving Digital Business - InformationWeek Conference
- Prepare for the IoT Revolution | The Internet of Things Summit at Interop - Interop Las Vegas
- Explore SIP Trunking @ Enterprise Connect March 17- 20 - Enterprise Connect
- Managing & Securing Converged Networks @ Enterprise Connect | 3/17-3/20 - Enterprise Connect