June 30, 2008, 10:55 AM — Watch out for the newest generation of malware that is difficult to crack and efficient, warns anti-virus firm F-Secure.
The Finnish firm has warned that today's malware is characterized by the packing, encryption, and obfuscation of existing families of Trojans, backdoors, exploits, and other threats, which is now done with industrial efficiency.
What the increasing use of self-defense technologies in malware represents is the ever growing professionalism within the crime-ware community, according to F-Secure.
In its data security summary on the first half of the year, the firm noted that there have been a growing number of targeted malware attacks on individuals, companies, and organizations.
In a targeted malware attack, the attacker profiles his victim and sends an e-mail using the recipient's name, title, and perhaps references to his job function. The message's content is typically something that the recipient would expect to receive via e-mail.
"I have a nasty feeling that the situation is getting worse, not better", said Mikko Hyppönen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure Corporation. "However, we're not giving up either."
Targeted malware attacks are also being used for political and military motives, pointed out F-Secure. During the recent clashes between Tibetans and the Chinese military, the battles on the streets were accompanied by political espionage on the Internet. Human rights groups, pro-Tibet organizations and individuals supporting the freedom of Tibet were attacked with a carefully targeted and technically advanced e-mail campaign that attempted to infect their computers in order to spy on their actions.