Feeds

October breaks malware production records

Variants on a theme

SANS - Survey on application security programs

October saw the biggest increase in virus numbers since anti-virus firm Sophos began tracking outbreaks in 1988. The security vendor now identifies and protects against a total of 112,142 viruses, an increase of 1,685 on September.

Rather than creating new viral strains, the bad guys are churning out multiple new variants of popular backdoor programs such as Agobot, SdBOt, various Trojan downloaders and the like. Anti-virus firm F-Secure notes that many of the malware families have spawned more than 700 variants. Each time hackers add new components to readily available malware code a new variant is created. The trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

September's 1,233 new viruses was followed by a record high of 1,685 viruses in October. Nearly two thirds of the viruses reported to Sophos during the month were versions of the Mytob worm, with the new Mytob-GH and Mytob-EX variants having made a significant impact. One in 60 emails (1.66 per cent), circulating in October were viral, according to Sophos.

Despite all this new activity, NetSky-P, the worm written by convicted German virus author Sven Jaschan, continues to head up Sophos's top ten chart twenty months after it was first detected. Mytob-GH, which first appeared on 16 October 2005, is already in second place and showing no sign of abating. October's chart consists of only three virus families - NetSky, MyTob and Zafi, indicating that virus writers are continuing to create variants of established threats, which prove most effective for financial gain.

"There are six variants of the Mytob worm in the October chart, half of which are new entries," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. "The creators of Mytob appear to be a gang of virus writers called Hellbot. By having several gang members they can easily issue several different variants in a short space of time." ®

October top ten virus chart, as compiled by Sophos:

NetSky-P Mytob-GH (new entry) Mytob-EX (new entry) Mytob-AS Mytob-BE Zafi-D NetSky-D Mytob-C Zafi-B (re-entry) Mytob-ER (new entry)

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.