Saturday, November 25, 2006

Are Malware writers becoming "more professional"?

According Dave Marcus' prediction in Rene Millman's Malware writers becoming "more professional" in ITPro, mass virus outbreaks will be a thing of the past. Rather, there is evidence of professional and organized crime in malware creation:

". . . 'where development teams are creating malicious software, testing it and automating its production and release.' "

indicating further that:
35 per cent of all malware samples ever discovered had been collected in the last two years alone.
The past two years have been filled with rogue anti-spyware applications and the likes of the codec-infecting trojans. New variants are discovered daily. Another aspect to the increased numbers of malware samples, however, is that while the malware writers become more sophisticated, so also have those working to obtain samples and have them submitted to the anti-spyware/anti-virus vendors. The sad part of Dave Marcus' comments is that

"Malware has simply become a way to make money. It has taken virus authors in a different direction."
Will honesty and integrity win over money? Not likely as greed is a very strong incentive. The best way to win the battle against malware is education. Where my generation might have taken typing classes in "junior high school", children today learn about computers and computer games as early as pre-school. As our children are taught about "safe sex" in the schools, so must they also be taught about "safe hex". I suspect that while our children taught us how to operate the VCR, the children of today will be teaching their parents how to maintain the family computer.

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