05 December 2007 | 3,820 views

Malware Numbers Still Increasing Rapidly

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It seems like malware numbers are going up, rather than down as I would expect. But then if you think about it as a numbers game, the more people that come online – the more in absolute terms that are going to have nefarious intent. This means more hackers, more script kiddies and more malware.

It’s getting to be exponential though – but I guess we are safe as it’s not getting much more advanced than it was 10 years ago.

Finnish security vendor F-Secure has collected twice as many malicious software samples this year than it has over the last 20 years, a trend that highlights the growing danger of malicious software on the Internet.

Through the end of 2006 and 20 years prior, F-Secure counted a total of 250,000 samples, said Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure’s chief research officer. This year alone, 250,000 samples have been counted, he said.

I think a lot of them are just variations on existing viruses or worms, trying to modify them to bypass anti-virus solutions and make them a bit more intelligent.

Still not seeing much polymorphic stuff though.

Statistics on malware from antivirus companies can vary since the data is often derived from what their customers experience while using their software, and it depends on how widely that software is used.

But other security vendors have also noted the flood of new malware on the Internet over the last few years. Symantec said earlier this year that it detected 212,101 new malicious code threats between January and June, an increased of 185 percent over the same period a year prior.

The astounding increase shows that hackers “are generating large number of different [malware] variants on purpose to make the lives of antivirus vendors more difficult,” Hypponen said.

Get that Avast! installed on all your relatives computers and keep them safe, along with Firefox of course.

Source: Network World



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12 Responses to “Malware Numbers Still Increasing Rapidly”

  1. Goodpeople 6 December 2007 at 10:50 am Permalink

    I’m not really surprised. As with a lot of things in our field, we can also blame Microsoft for this one.

    They claim with each new version of windows that it has been rewritten from scratch. Yet every version of windows has the same bugs and vulnerabilities as the previous versions had.

    The malware guys don’t have to come up with new tricks. They can totally rely on Microsoft to open up old doors over and over again.

  2. Darknet 6 December 2007 at 11:10 am Permalink

    I have to disagree, not only do Microsoft provide us with the same bugs and vulnerabilities from the previous versions they are also generous enough to give us a whole generation of new vulnerabilities every time they update their software.

  3. Nobody_Holme 6 December 2007 at 1:53 pm Permalink

    It would be funny if it wasnt so true…

  4. net2004eng 7 December 2007 at 3:27 pm Permalink

    I agree, but given MS is the most popular computing platform out there, is this really any surprise? I am sure that if *nix and Apple were more prevalent, we would see more malware targeted for those OSs as well! Look at the increase in browser bugs lately that not only are impacting IE, but also Firefox and other browsers. Also look at the money involved in malware/spyware, etc… I think we will continue to see the numbers rise for quite some time especially since money is to be made there (renting bot-nets out and such).

    Don’t take this as a defense to MS, because that is totally not the case! Nor does it make MS any more relieved of their duty – just because they are the number one desktop OS out there. They should be putting forth better effort on their part to more securely program their OS and other programs, and maybe this would be assisted by a longer software life cycle development process? A change would be nice, but given their pattern, I don’t see this changing anytime soon either!

  5. goodpeople 10 December 2007 at 2:30 pm Permalink

    Okay, I admit that my previous remark was meant to be slightly funny. It does however include a serious issue.

    I don’t want to start an all out Microsoft Bashing thread but I have to admit that I’m tempted.

    My point is this: M$ claims with every Windows version that it was completely rewritten. I simply don’t believe it. After all, we see alot of bugs resurfacing in newer versions of the Windows OS. It is obvious that Microsoft blatantly lies to it’s users.

    On the other hand, if it actually is true, then Microsoft employs some very incompetent programmers that manage to make the same mistakes over and over again.

    But either way, by claiming that the software is rewritten from scratch, Microsoft admits that their code is crap and that it is cheaper to replace the entitre OS than it is to patch the damn thing.
    If I then take into account that you can’t really trust and/or use any Microsoft OS until SP2 is out, I can only be very glad that there are alternatives…

  6. net2004eng 10 December 2007 at 4:02 pm Permalink

    @goodpeople

    Having alternatives and also seeing companies like Dell starting to ship machines that have Ubuntu installed help bring more of the open source software and OSs into the mainstream for home users. Many of the Open Source OSs are getting very user friendly, and this will help them in being competitive with Microsoft…but I think overall, it will be quite some time before we see Microsoft usurped from the top!

  7. goodpeople 11 December 2007 at 11:23 pm Permalink

    I know it will take some time, but I keep hoping that Microsoft will eventually see the light and do the one thing they can do to *really* make the world a better place.

    Quit the OS game and devote itself to applications.

    Let’s cut the crap. Microsoft isn’t good at OS-development. Never were, never will be. Windows sucks and it always will. Microsft should devote itself to appliocations completeley. Let’s face it. Office is the best Office suite in the world.
    I know plenty of people that would happily pay for a native Linux version of MS Office.

  8. net2004eng 11 December 2007 at 11:48 pm Permalink

    @goodpeople

    Do you mean OpenOffice? OpenOffice can be used in Windows as well…

    I don’t see anything changing with MS being at the top, anytime soon… the market share they currently hold is sickening, and looking at it in a positive light, it provides many people with a job! If it worked perfectly all the time, there would be no need for support staff. There are many positives to be gleaned due to their marketshare!

  9. Pantagruel 12 December 2007 at 7:58 am Permalink

    The big problem with the divers Windows versions and MS applications is user base and unsound foudation.

    As -goodpeople- already mentions, eventhough MS claims the last version to be ‘completely’ rewritten, they are more likely code evolutions of Windows 2000 (which itself stemms from NT). The reoccurance of a old bug (see it as a fossile hunt ;) is a sure sign of code re-use. The same goes for Office, the code evol’s and the constant additions of ‘future’ have made it bloated and ridden with possibilities. Office has become the defacto standard just because of it’s large user base, when you want to use OO doc’s you still get a funny look cast your way (forget about presentations, powerpoint is all people seem to know, apart from the occasional Apple user)

    -net2004eng- has a point, because of the bad code and other problem, MS provides quite a number of professionals with a job so I will not be complaining too much. This also hold true for the many opensource initiatives, the also provide a large group of people with a daily profession. More people are shifting towards opensource based software and this will mean more questions to be answered, so in the long run we only seem to benefit. MS’es marketshare indeed is sickening, but we put them there and can surely put them back where they belong. Only problem is the horde of users who are quite pleased with the, every once in a while not so willing to work, mainstream OS from MS.

  10. goodpeople 12 December 2007 at 10:32 am Permalink

    Let me clarify a bit.

    I think that Microsoft should concentrate on applications. Microsoft Office is the best office suite of applications there is. (okay, except Access. The person that came up with Access should be shot.)

    I mean it. MS Office comes first. Then there’s a whole lot of nothing and after that comes the competition in no particular order.

    Sure, OpenOffice is okay. Works pefectly, but let’s face it. You can only use OOo if the entire organization moves to OOo. If you’re the only one in the organization that uses OOo, you’ll always be stuck with some inconsistancies that aren’t fatal, but _very_ anoying to say the least. Page-formatting, bullited lists, tables in documents.. OOo just isn’t there yet.

    If Microsoft would switch all it’s energy towards applications and make them available for other platforms s well, I’m sure it would make much more money than it does now.

  11. net2004eng 12 December 2007 at 5:17 pm Permalink

    @goodpeople

    I’d have to agree…even though OpenOffice is free, and has gotten better, I think it in no way compares to MS Office.

    As far as MS marketshare, I just don’t see it changing anytime soon. Major corporations will continue to use Windows on the desktop for quite some time, until there is a strong reason to switch. I think I have seen some reasons to switch – my main system at home is running Ubuntu, but I do have multiple machines running Windows in order to support customers abroad – since some applications plain and simply don’t run on *nix, unless you have a VM with XP or something – which I do as well. I do know of one place which was making an attempt to move to RH in the workplace, but don’t know how that transition turned out, or even if it did. Problem there is having to train users – but this could be minimal depending on what you require them to do (could easily be accomplished if you just need them to login, and then use some terminal emulation program to connect to some server).

  12. Sir Henry 14 December 2007 at 5:28 pm Permalink

    @Darknet:

    I could not agree more. But, being the OS with the biggest market share out there, I think it is inevitable that they would be targeted as such. Then again, though, I would be inclined to state that if Linux were more prevalent, that the open source community would do their best to keep the numbers of exploits and vulns at bay. At least, that would be my hope.