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Risk

3/16/2011
07:49 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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Trojan Attacks Remain Most Popular

Anti-malware vendor Panda Security's PandaLabs has found that the number of threats . . . surprise, surprise . . . have risen significantly year over year. What's interesting is how large a percentage of attacks Trojans have become.

Anti-malware vendor Panda Security's PandaLabs has found that the number of threats . . . surprise, surprise . . . have risen significantly year over year. What's interesting is how large a percentage of attacks Trojans have become.According to PandaLabs, the number of threats in circulation has risen significantly since last year - with an average of 73,000 new strains of malicious software hitting each day. That's a 26 percent rise over the same year ago quarter.

What stood out to me is the fact that PandaLabs calculate that Trojans account for 70 percent of all new malware created. If anyone doubted that the primary motivation behind malware isn't theft, that data point alone should change minds.

PandaLabs also found that both fake anti-virus and rogueware have decreased and bots have remained steady. Not so surprisingly, because of their utility, and how small they are, downloaders are on a considerable rise.

Downloader Trojans are relatively small snippets of code that will subsequently download scripts and other programs onto the infected system that can be used to steal data, use the infected system as a launch pad for deeper attacks into the business, or even install bots that became part of broader denial-of-service attacks. It's very easy for traditional anti-malware defenses to miss these types of attacks.

Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, pointed out in a statement that the technical acumen necessary to create such attacks is becoming quite low. "The proliferation of online tools that enable non-technical people to create Trojans in minutes and quickly set up illegal business - especially when it provides access to banking details - is responsible for Trojans' impressive growth," he said.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

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