Feeds

Virus arms race primes malware numbers surge

Half malware strains are junked after less than a day

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Half (52 per cent) of new malware strains only stick around for 24 hours or less.

The prevalence of short lived variants reflects a tactic by miscreants aimed at overloading security firms so that more damaging strains of malware remain undetected for longer, according to a study by Panda Security.

The security firm, based in Bilbao, Spain, detects an average of 37,000 new viruses, worms, Trojans and other security threats per day. Around an average of 19,240 spread and try to infect users for just 24 hours, after which they become inactive as they are replaced by other, new variants.

Virus writers - increasingly motivated by profit - try to ensure their creations go unnoticed by users and stay under the radar of firms. It's now become common practice for VXers to review detection rates and modify viral code after 24 hours. The practice goes towards explaining the growing malware production rate.

The amount of catalogued malware by Panda was 18 million in the 20 years from the firm's foundation until the end of 2008. This figure increased 60 per cent in just seven months to reach 30 million by 31 July 2009.

Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, explained: "This is a never-ending race which, unfortunately, the hackers are still winning."

"We have to wait until we get hold of the malware they have created to be able to analyse, classify and combat it. In this race, vendors that work with traditional, manual analysis techniques are too slow to vaccinate clients, as the distribution and infection span is very short."

Corrons added that Panda's cloud-based Collective Intelligence approach made its technology more agile, thereby reducing the risk window. Other security vendors, including Trend and McAfee, are also adopting cloud-based architectures to deal with the same problem of growing malware production rates. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.