Feeds

Zombie bots fuel spyware boom

It's raining malware buy our umbrellas today, says McAfee

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Virus writers are up upping their production rates with a 12 per cent increase in the number of new items in malware in the second quarter of 2005. McAfee's Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team (AVERT) reports that spam-propagating bot programs, adware and spyware were the greatest net security threat in Q2 2005.

Zombie bots such as Gaobot, MyTob and SDbot are often central to the spread of spyware. "In just the first and second quarters of 2005, the number of exploited machines using backdoor techniques has increased over 63 per cent from the total at the end of 2004," said Vincent Gullotto, VP of McAfee AVERT. "This often resulted in spyware and adware being downloaded onto affected systems."

McAfee AVERT saw a 12 per cent increase in the number of new Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) AKA adware and spyware packages - created in Q205 compared to Q1 2005. The most prevalent nuisance programs spotted by McAfee were the 180Solutions and abetterintrnt adware packages. Continuing a recent trend, several MyTob variants dropped hundreds of adware files, including components of 180Solutions, helping to explain the wide spread of this form of malware.

A well as these emerging threats, McAfee also noticed an increase in money making cyber scams. A recent McAfee study into organised crime and the internet suggests that there is a "new hierarchy of cybercriminals", and that each level, from amateur to professional, has different tactics and motives.

"The most interesting development in recent years is cyber gangs, who sit at the top of this cybercrime chain. These advanced groups of career criminals and hackers agree to cooperate, plan and execute long term attack strategies that are of little interest to the socially-motivated hacker or script kiddy," McAfee reports.

The security firm adds that the number of vulnerabilities on various software platforms topped 1,000 in Q2 of 2005, approximately 5 per cent up on its figures for the same period last year. ®

Top Threats in Q2 2005, according to McAfee (listed alphabetically):

  • Exploit-Byteverify
  • MyDoom.BG
  • MyTob.gen
  • NetSky.Q

Related stories

VXers creating 150 zombie programs a week
Malware authors up the ante
Anti-spam success drives malware authors downmarket

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?