Spyware 2.0 – The New Cybercrime Concept for 2011

13 Dec 2010
Virus News

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, announces the publication of its analytical report titled ‘Outcomes for 2010 and Predictions for 2011’ by the Company’s Chief Security Expert, Alexander Gostev.

According to the report’s author, the year 2010 saw malicious programs reach a whole new level of functionality, which is likely to bring about a major shakeup in the types of criminals orchestrating cyber attacks as well as their aims and the methods they use.

We are now faced with the widespread use of a new class of spyware programs, the aim of which can be defined quite simply as: steal everything. They will gather any information that they can about users, right down to the color of their hair and eyes, and will examine every document stored on infected computers. Industrial and state espionage will become more pervasive, with less emphasis on precision attacks. Cybercriminals will start targeting a much broader range of organizations, no longer concentrating solely on online banks and electronic payment systems. The principal aim of many new virus writers and their clients will be the acquisition of someone or something’s complete profile, rather than making a quick buck by stealing credit card details or distributing spam.

Potential changes to the structure of the malware authoring community are also likely to have a profound impact on the IT threat landscape during 2011. The emergence in 2010 of the technologically sophisticated Stuxnet worm that attacked industrial-class programmable logic controllers, was an impressive demonstration to the whole world of just what the cybercriminals’ arsenals contain, as well as a wake-up call to the IT security industry because of how difficult it was to counteract. It cannot be ruled out that governments and commercial organizations will make use of Stuxnet-like programs for their own ends.

“It is possible that we will only see the beginnings of these kinds of attacks in 2011, with their full force only being felt in years to come. However, it is already clear that the arrival of this new generation of cybercriminals means that those tasked with counteracting such cyber threats will need to raise their game considerably,” Alexander Gostev points out.

The primary method of carrying out malware and hacker attacks will make use of vulnerabilities in legitimate software and will be carried out via browsers. There will be an increase in the number of threats targeting 64-bit platforms, as well as more attacks on mobile devices, mobile operating systems and users of social networks. However, DDoS attacks will remain one of the biggest problems plaguing the Internet.

The full version of the article ‘Outcomes for 2010 and Predictions for 2011’ can be viewed at: www.securelist.com.