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New Report Examines Malware's Origins, Motivations
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 18:05

From Dark Reading

Defending against malicious software means understanding where it comes from, researcher says

Nearly every day, industry analysts and security researchers warn IT professionals about the skyrocketing proliferation of malware. A simple Web search turns up many reports that dissect the technical nature of malicious software, how it works, and how it affects its victims.

But who develops malware, and who distributes it? Who buys it, and what do they hope to achieve? Ask these questions in a Web search, and you'll find far fewer results.

In a report issued last week, ScanSafe security researcher Mary Landesman offers some thoughts on the genesis and spread of malware -- this time from a business perspective, rather than a technical point of view. While Landesman's report -- part of ScanSafe's "Annual Global Threat Report" -- is far from the first to offer insight on the business of malware, it does offer a snapshot of the current state of the malware business and a clear categorization of the players.

While many outside of the security industry still perceive "hackers" as teenagers or isolated geeks who work alone, Landesman's report encourages security professionals -- and the general public -- to see malware as a cooperative industry that supports specialists, economies, and supply chains. "Malware is every bit as layered as any other industry," she says. "There are mom-and-pop shops. There are big giants. There are suppliers and developers and a global market."

Many business executives " and even some IT pros " are too focused on the group of cybercriminals that can be categorized as "sole proprietors," Landesman says. "These are the ones we hear the most about " the phishers, the carders, the people repackaging scareware to drive users to malicious sites," she observes. "These are the equivalent of the street seller in the drug trade " they're looking to make a quick score, either for their own benefit or feeding up to a kingpin of some sort."    [More...] [Comments...]


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