Kaspersky Lab announces the publication of its annual report on threat evolution. In 2008, Kaspersky Security Network detected more than 23 million attacks, all of which were successfully combated.
Kaspersky Lab experts note that a malware ecosystem is evolving, with labour being divided between the Cybercriminals who place orders, and those who fulfil the orders. The vast majority of malicious programs are created not by virus writers who intend to use the programs, but with the intention of selling them on for use by others.
Different countries also exhibit distinctive characteristics; while China was the leading creator of malicious programs in 2008, Russian hackers and virus writers created the most sophisticated programs.
Attacks on websites continued in 2008, including attacks on social networking sites. There was a sharp increase in the number of attacks on online gaming accounts.
Functionality was added to file viruses, making them able to spread via removable storage media; this results in mass infections.
The spread of rootkits became an increasingly serious issue in 2008. New methods for conducting attacks were also identified, including the use of botnets.
The antivirus industry, Internet providers and governments around the world struck a series of blows against Cybercrime. This resulted in the closure of a number of companies which allowed Cybercriminals to use their resources, including the Russian Business Network.
There was a slight increase in the worldwide volume of spam, which was up 2.1% on 2007. The average volume of spam was 82.1%. Russia was the world leader in terms of spam sent out, with 22% of unsolicited messages originating from Russian sources.
Kaspersky Lab experts forecast that the malware ecosystem will continue to evolve; malware technologies will become more sophisticated; and there will be a growth in threats such as botnets which have flexible administration. The global economic situation and the maturity of the Cybercrime market may lead to a return of global malware epidemics.
The full version of Malware evolution in 2008 is available on Viruslist.com. The executive summary is available on Kaspersky.com. The full version of the yearly Spam report is also available on Viruslist.com, and the executive summary can be viewed at Kaspersky.com.