AutoIt is extremely intuitive and easy to use, produces compiled binaries that run out of the box on modern Windows versions and is well documented, the Bitdefender researcher said. Also, there is already a lot of malicious AutoIt code available on the Web for reuse, he said.
"Most importantly, malware created in AutoIt is extremely flexible and can be easily obfuscated, which means that a single breed of malware written in AutoIt can be repackaged and re-crafted in a number of ways to prevent detection and extend its shelf life," Botezatu said.
As scripting languages like AutoIt continue to gain popularity, more malware developers are expected to migrate toward them, Wilhoit said. "The ease of use and learning, as well as the ability to post code easily to popular dropsites make this a great opportunity for actors with nefarious intentions to propagate their tools and malware."