So no big surprise here, malware is getting more malicious! It’s good to know though and it’s good that companies out there like Messagelabs, under the watchful eye of Symantec, are trying to measure what is going on in malware land.
The malware/worm landscape has always been a fast moving one and my guess is it’s only going to get faster as more of the World gets an Internet connection, a basic grasp of coding and a greed to scam money from people.
A decade after the Love Bug virus attacked millions of computers worldwide and put the Philippines in the IT world map in a negative way, computer security experts have noticed that today’s computer attacks are more malicious than the original computer security threat. In its April 2010 security report, Symantec said it has detected 36,208 unique strains of malware that were designed to carry out targeted attacks.
MessageLabs, which was acquired by Symantec later, was the first one to raise the alert on the Love Bug virus, which was designed to overwrite and destroy data. The virus came in the form of a message attachment when, once opened, sent itself to the addresses of the email recipient and spread on from there.
Ten years since Symantec Hosted Services, then MessageLabs, intercepted 13,000 copies of the virus in a single day on 4 May 2000, MessageLabs Intelligence said it now stops 1.5 million copies of malicious e-mails each day.
The latest is that the malware of today is more malicious than the infamous ILOVEYOU worm that broke out 10 years ago in the year 2000.
You can see the jump is scales though, from 13,000 in a day to 1.5 million in a day. I still tell people the reason we need such vast storage clouds and such fast Internet connections is because of only 2 things – porn and spam.
It seems the dynamics have changed too, the bad guys are no longer writing mass spreading spammy malware – but sending much more malicious and highly targeted viruses.
“Although mass mailing viruses like the Love Bug are rare today, cyber criminals’ techniques have evolved to more malicious, highly targeted attacks and they are motivated less by achievement and credibility than by financial gain and identity theft,” Symantec said in a statement. “On 4 May, 2000, 1 in 28 e-mails contained the Love Bug virus. By comparison, 1 in 287.2 e-mails contained a virus on 9 April 2010, the peak for April. In April 2010 overall, MessageLabs Intelligence intercepted 36,208 unique strains of malware.”
“The Love Bug was operating in the wake of the Melissa virus, a similarly destructive worm from the previous year,” said MessageLabs Intelligence senior analyst Paul Wood. “Back then, users were less savvy, regarding the dangers posed by suspicious e-mail attachments and e-mails from unknown senders. The general public was also less aware of issues such as spam and denial of service attacks.”
The April 2010 MessageLabs Intelligence Report also revealed that Rustock has surpassed Cutwail as the biggest botnet both in terms of the amount of spam it sends and the amount of active bots under its control.
Rustock was knocked back a while ago and the Next-gen botnets were touted to replace it along with Srizbi.
Source: Network World