The Top 10 Nastiest Malware Trends

What would you label “the worse” of the malware that’s “out there” in the wild? IT Security has a list. I have only quoted the first paragraph of each one, so click on the link below for full details:

IT Security: The Top 10 Nastiest Malware Trends

“1. Adware

The most common form of malware is adware. It’s a type of spyware that secretly imbeds itself on your computer and analyzes your web browsing habits and then related banner advertising occasionally in popup windows. While most of the advertisements you see are for legitimate companies, the actual producers of the spyware are not…

2. Browser Hijacker

Browser hijackers, or hijackware, al ter web browser settings to redirect you to a different homepage, typically to questionable websites (adult, gaming, celebrity). Those programs which redirect surfers to adult sites will sometimes leave telltale bookmarks, which have been known to cost people their jobs…

3. Internet Dialer

There are legitimate Internet dialers, but the malware variety does sinister things including making phone calls to 1-900 numbers secretly through your modem. The result is been monster phone bills and lots of family feuds…

4. Keylogger

In the past, keyloggers have been legitimate software used by law enforcement. The FBI used [1] a Trojan to download a keylogger called Magic Lantern, which helped indict Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr., for running an illegal gambling organization. Keyloggers are also used by companies to monitor employees, and by parents to monitor children online…

5. Rootkit

Rootkits are amongst the most sinister of all types of malware, going to the operating system and disabling security features such as firewalls and anti-virus programs, thus rendering themselves invisible. They also install other malicious code, change DNS settings and system configurations, access private files, and generally affect security and system performance…

6. Trojan Horse

Trojan horses are masters of disguise. This form of malware pretends to be innocuous plugins, add-ons, or even CODECs (Encoder/ Decoder) for multimedia audio or video players such as WinAmp, and other harmless software. The creators of trojan horses often use an e-mail or a web page written to trick you into installing the Trojan. Trojan horses may live on websites with music or video downloads or even some of the new batch of web2.0 alpha- or beta-mode application sites…

7. Worm

Worms are a self-propagating (they multiply on their own) form of malware. Worms hunt for security flaws in other computers on the same network as an infected computer and copy themselves onto the new computer through that loophole. This way of multiplying makes worms particularly dangerous, because they can result in huge network traffic floods or outages, as well as mass infection over a short time…

8. Virus

The term “virus” has been used fairly generically in the history of computing, but technically speaking, it refers to software that inserts malicious code into existing documents or even other code [1], and which is then spread by various means. Some early viruses were pranks, others were propagated via MS-Word documents attached in emails…

9. Drive-By Download (DBD)

In general, the term “drive-by download” (DBD) refers to any malware installed without user consent or knowledge. This malware can download spyware, a virus, etc., and this can happen while viewing a website or popup window, or from an email message…

10. Piggyback

Piggyback malware refers to embedded malicious code within an otherwise harmless executable file. According to a recent study, 4% of websites and 5% of available downloads were infected with any of 89 types of malware [1]. This means that even trusted sites might cause your computer to be infected, thus rendering IP/ site blacklists less effective. Typically suspect piggyback sites are those having downloads for games, music, and wallpapers, as well as celebrity and adult sites…

Quick Summary of Growing Malware Trends

This quick summary is a brief reminder of current Malware trends and new threats which are expected to grow in 2007:

1. Mobile attacks using SMS (SMiShing), whereby malware such as MSIL/Xrove infects smartphones via ActiveSync.
2. Media malware using MPEG video files or CODECs for MP3 audio players. Thanks to the popularity of video sharing sites like YouTube, this mode of attack is expected to grow.
3. Increase in zombie computers and botnets.
4. Return of parasitic malware, which operate by modifying files already existent on your hard drive.
5. Increased silent and targeted attacks on transactions instead of computers.
6. Suicidal malware that uses polymorphic techniques to evade detection.
7. Ransomware. A new threat, called ransomware, is where malware authors hold computers hostage unless an infected machine’s owner pays a certain amount.”

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