Vulnerabilities / Threats
12/21/2012
12:53 PM
Don Bailey
Don Bailey
Products and Releases
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

ESET: Mobile Malware, Botnets, Attacks On The Cloud And Data Breaches Expected To Grow

Company also believes mobile malware will become more complex

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ESET, the global leader in proactive digital protection with a 25 year track record of developing award-winning technology, has published its annual review of the past year's threat trends and compiled predictions for 2013. According to the new report, the 2013 threatscape will see major growth of mobile malware and its variants, increased malware propagation via websites and the continued rise of botnets and attacks on the cloud resulting in information leaks.

Over the past year, there has been a major increase in mobile malware. Devices running on the Android(TM) platform have drawn increased attention from malicious programmers who have taken an immediate interest in targeting this dynamic and growing market. According to market research firm IDC, during the first quarter of 2012, Google recorded year-over-year growth of 145% in shipments of its Android operating system for smartphones.*

Based on the combination of increased market share, evolving usage patterns, and the current high level of malicious programs targeting mobile devices, ESET predicts an exponential growth of mobile malware in 2013. The company also believes that the malware will become more complex, thus expanding the range of malicious actions that can be performed on an infected device.

The number of malware families targeting the Android platform (malicious codes that are different enough to have a unique classification) increased from 52 families in November of 2011 to 56 families today. Although this figure did not rise dramatically during 2012, it shows that the number of signatures and variants continues to grow. Regardless of the number of malware families, ESET expects the number of threats aimed at the Android platform to continue to grow, in much the same way as it has with Windows® operating system. ESET classifies the behaviors of the families and malicious actions (payload) carried out by malware on Android-based devices as follows: information theft (spyware), SMS message distribution to premium-rate numbers, and the transformation of machines into zombies (botnet recruitment).

The majority of these malware families are intended to subscribe the victim to premium-rate messaging numbers. However, there are more serious threats that can transform these devices into zombies. This happens when cybercriminals gain access to the devices to remotely install other malicious code, steal particularly desirable data, and modify configuration parameters.

The number of malware variants for the Android platform also increased in 2012.

A variant is a modified version of a specific and known malicious program. It is important to note that for each new major variant that emerges, the ESET research team adds an alphabetically ordered suffix that changes as the quantity increases.

In 2013, ESET also expects to see a shift in the ways in which cybercriminals propagate malicious code. Malware propagation by means of removable storage devices is decreasing in favor of the use of an intermediary in order to attract new victims. Currently, the preferred intermediary is a web server that has been compromised by a third party in order to host computer threats. Cybercriminals will send out hyperlinks via email to lead the user to the malware in question.

These same compromised servers store the stolen information in order to avoid involving personal computers, which may be better protected and where detection and cleaning of malware may result in the criminals losing their stolen data.

Since 2010, cybercriminals using malware designed to steal information and generate revenue have become more prevalent and their attacks more aggressive.

During 2011, there was a marked increase in the number of botnets, and this year the numbers have continued a steady increase globally. There is no doubt that the Dorkbot worm is one of the most prolific threats, capable of turning the victim's computer into a zombie.

Storage in the cloud is another trend that grew in 2012. According to a June press release, in 2012, Gartner believes that the adoption of camera-equipped tablets and smartphones will drive consumer storage needs.** Although this technology makes it easier for people to access information from practically any device with Internet access, it also makes such devices more susceptible to being targeted by computer attacks, which can compromise data security and cause information leaks.

This year there were a number of major cyber attacks, including the cloud-based storage service Dropbox(TM) where hackers accessed some accounts using stolen login credentials. While this was not a failure of the Dropbox(TM) service itself, the incident prompted the company to improve its security. Other companies that were reported to be be affected by information leakage incidents during 2012 included LinkedIn(TM), Yahoo!(TM) and Formspring(TM). Mainstream credit card companies like Visa® and MasterCard® also had to issue warnings when a payment processing system suffered information leakage. This incident affected a total of 56,455 accounts from both companies, out of which 876 were used to commit some kind of fraud.

For more information, download the full report prepared by the ESET research team at Trends for 2013: Astounding growth of mobile malware.

About ESET

ESET is on the forefront of security innovation, delivering trusted protection to make the Internet safer for businesses and consumers. IDC has recognized ESET as a top five corporate anti-malware vendor and one of the fastest growing companies in its category. Trusted by millions of users worldwide, ESET is one of the most recommended security solutions in the world. ESET NOD32 Antivirus consistently achieves the highest accolades in all types of comparative testing, and powers the virus and spyware detection in ESET Smart Security, ESET Cybersecurity for Mac, ESET Endpoint Security and ESET Endpoint Antivirus. ESET has global headquarters in Bratislava (Slovakia), with regional distribution centers in San Diego (U.S.), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Singapore; with offices in Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Prague (Czech Republic). ESET has malware research centers in Bratislava, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Prague, Kosice (Slovakia), Krakow (Poland), Montreal (Canada), Moscow (Russia), and an extensive partner network for 180 countries. For more information, visit http://www.eset.com/us or call +1 (619) 876-5400. Don A. Bailey is a pioneer in security for mobile technology, the Internet of Things, and embedded systems. He has a long history of ground-breaking research, protecting mobile users from worldwide tracking systems, securing automobiles from remote attack, and mitigating ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5208
Published: 2014-12-22
BKBCopyD.exe in the Batch Management Packages in Yokogawa CENTUM CS 3000 through R3.09.50 and CENTUM VP through R4.03.00 and R5.x through R5.04.00, and Exaopc through R3.72.10, does not require authentication, which allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a RETR operation, write to arbit...

CVE-2014-7286
Published: 2014-12-22
Buffer overflow in AClient in Symantec Deployment Solution 6.9 and earlier on Windows XP and Server 2003 allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-8896
Published: 2014-12-22
The Collaboration Server in IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server for Product Information Management 9.x through 9.1 and InfoSphere Master Data Management - Collaborative Edition 10.x through 10.1, 11.0 before FP7, and 11.3 and 11.4 before 11.4 FP1 allows remote authenticated users to modify ...

CVE-2014-8897
Published: 2014-12-22
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Collaboration Server in IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server for Product Information Management 9.x through 9.1 and InfoSphere Master Data Management - Collaborative Edition 10.x through 10.1, 11.0 before FP7, and 11.3 and 11.4 before 11.4 FP1 ...

CVE-2014-8898
Published: 2014-12-22
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Collaboration Server in IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server for Product Information Management 9.x through 9.1 and InfoSphere Master Data Management - Collaborative Edition 10.x through 10.1, 11.0 before FP7, and 11.3 and 11.4 before 11.4 FP1 ...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.