Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

1/6/2010
01:31 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Panda Security: Malware Tops 25 Million In 2009

As I read PandaLab's Annual Malware Report, just published yesterday, the headline number of 25 million new malware samples struck me in this way: So What. And it leaves one wondering why some security vendors choose to focus so heavily on Fear, Uncertainly, and Doubt (FUD). Most of that "new" malware crud doesn't get anywhere.

As I read PandaLab's Annual Malware Report, just published yesterday, the headline number of 25 million new malware samples struck me in this way: So What. And it leaves one wondering why some security vendors choose to focus so heavily on Fear, Uncertainly, and Doubt (FUD). Most of that "new" malware crud doesn't get anywhere.If you're interested in my thinking when it comes to counting malware, read Malware Counts: Uncomfortably Numb. I was critical back then of that anti-virus vendor, and how it spun the numbers. But at least they limited their counts to those samples that required a new signature. In June, McAfee counted 1.2 million unique malware apps for the first half of 2009. Now, roughly seven months later we have Panda Security with a tally of 25 million for the year.

Best I could tell from reading the report is that Panda Security counts each sample it gets as "new and different." Not sure what that means. Does that include samples created by a virus writer who ran it through a malware kit and made 300 variants that would be detected with already existing signatures? Did Panda have to write 25 million unique signatures last year? I'm not sure. but I doubt it.

What I am sure of is that these malware counts are as useless as they are meaningless. Here's what I wrote last summer, in the post mentioned above, on the topic:

Should these numbers raise your concern? Not really.

The bad guys are out there, and they're active. We know this. What these numbers show is how easy malcode is morphed. Malware authors have created ways to change their code, in fact, sometimes each time a page is refreshed new code is generated. Does it matter that it is "new" each time the page is reloaded? No. What matters is how vulnerable your systems and your users are to the types of attacks, or threats, coming at them.

These "malware" threats range from old school viruses, keystroke logging Trojans, and backdoors to new complex bots (which make it possible for infected systems to send spam or launch denial of service attacks); to modern redirectors that will send users to fraudulent Web sites regardless of what the user types in the URL bar, and downloaders that are used to plant any type of malware the attacker wishes on a user's system.

That was true in June, it was true (to a much smaller scale) in the 1990s, and it'll be true for probably as long as we're all breathing.

So, please, spare us the hype, and provide insight we can put to use.

However, the report, available here as a .PDF, did provide an interesting overview of attacks and malware in 2009, including social engineering trends and Web 2.0-based attacks, Trojans, and Conficker, and more politically motivated hacking.

Here are a number of predictions in the report:

More security will be provided through the cloud.

The "avalanche" of malware will continue.

More drive-by Web downloads, social engineering, and BlackHat SEO

Malware writers will have to adjust to Windows 7; they'll do so, but it will take a couple of years.

This year won't be the year of widespread mobile phone malware. Attacks aimed at OS X will edge up

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Lock-Pickers Face an Uncertain Future Online
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  8/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17505
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
Artica Web Proxy 4.30.000000 allows an authenticated remote attacker to inject commands via the service-cmds parameter in cyrus.php. These commands are executed with root privileges via service_cmds_peform.
CVE-2020-17506
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
Artica Web Proxy 4.30.00000000 allows remote attacker to bypass privilege detection and gain web backend administrator privileges through SQL injection of the apikey parameter in fw.login.php.
CVE-2020-2035
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
When SSL/TLS Forward Proxy Decryption mode has been configured to decrypt the web transactions, the PAN-OS URL filtering feature inspects the HTTP Host and URL path headers for policy enforcement on the decrypted HTTPS web transactions but does not consider Server Name Indication (SNI) field within ...
CVE-2020-5415
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
Concourse, versions prior to 6.3.1 and 6.4.1, in installations which use the GitLab auth connector, is vulnerable to identity spoofing by way of configuring a GitLab account with the same full name as another user who is granted access to a Concourse team. GitLab groups do not have this vulnerabilit...
CVE-2020-6653
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
Eaton's Secure connect mobile app v1.7.3 & prior stores the user login credentials in logcat file when user create or register the account on the Mobile app. A malicious app or unauthorized user can harvest the information and later on can use the information to monitor and control the user's ac...