Feeds

Open source blamed for malware development

Sauce for the goose

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Malware authors are adopting open source development models to develop more potent threats. It's well known among security experts that botnet clients such as SDBot are written in a modular framework that allows hackers to add features that, for example, facilitate its spread through IM networks or add more potent attack features.

But open source development models are also playing a role in Windows rootkit development, according to a recently published study by net security firm McAfee. It says that open source principles, as practiced in the malware-writing community, are affecting the evolution of threats a phenomenon it describes as "good intentions gone awry".

The first edition of McAfee's Global Threat Report also looks at how the introduction of financial incentives to malware development has spawned more potent spyware and Trojan threats.

McAfee has a strong case when it argues that the chance to make money has fostered "more professional" malware development. However, it is on rockier ground with its contention that open source development is increasing the potency of malware threats. Aside from the obvious point that malware remains a largely Windows-only phenomenon, improved education or better software development tools could be just as much to blame.

Since McAfee didn't blame Visual Basic for the creation of Visual Basic threats, such as the infamous Anna Kournikova worm, it's hardly in the position to point the finger at open source development models.

But that's our take. Readers are invited to make up their own mind by reviewing McAfee's Global Threat Report themselves, which is available here (registration required). ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.