Feeds

Macro and script viruses dying off

New faces of malicious code for 2003

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The end of standard mass mailing worms is nigh - maybe as soon as before the end of 2003. But their replacements - Trojans and Spyware - are much, much worse.

Or so Roger Thompson, technical director of TruSecure, a risk management firm, forecasts. In particular he warns of the risk from Remote Access Trojans (RATs) or backdoors posted on the Net or spread via email.

"Malware code writers will continue to disguise RATs and backdoor scripts as 'adult' movies and then post them to pornography new groups targeting inexperienced users," he writes. "Expect them to continue through 2003 but they will be mixed with more and more grey ware (i.e. spyware and advertising monitoring that is barely legal)."

Thompson notes mass-mailing Windows viruses were largely unsuccessful in hitting corporations in 2002, with the notable exception of organisations which did implement proper filters. One of the two biggest worms of the year was Klez, which infected home PCs mostly.

Macro and script viruses emerged at a rate of 200 to 300 a month in 2002 but this will decrease to approx. 20 to 30 per month, TruSecure believes.

According to Thompson, the impact of the mass-mailing worm is mostly over for corporations but it will still have an impact on SOHO (small office/home office) environments this year.

Code Red

TruSecure (and more particularly its affable "Surgeon General" Russ Cooper) came to notice in 2001 for predicting that the Code Red virus had the potential to "meltdown" the Internet.

This warning was, we now know overstated. Cooper told us, when we met up with him before Christmas, that he did not regret the warning. He was acting, he said, on early analysis of Code Red and its possible spread through NT4 boxes. This turned out to be a lesser risk than first believed.

Fair enough; but TruSecure is still banging on about Code Red-style attacks to this day. Thompson warning he expects "another attack in 2003 in the class and level of Code Red".

If he means another outbreak of hysteria from sectors of the security community (which ought to know better) over some supposed Internet-crushing threat, how could we disagree? ®

Related Stories

The Code Red hype Hall of Shame
Home user insecurity spurs email virus growth in 2002
Porn diallers and Trojans - the new face of malicious code
Closing spyware loopholes

External Links

Information Security Predictions for the New Year, by TruSecure

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.