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Malware in 2009: more sophisticated, more difficult to detect and simply .. more

2009 is expected to bring a continuing increase in the amount of malware, as Panda Security research shows that during the first half of 2008 as many malware strains (viruses, worms, Trojans etc.) in circulation as in the previous 17 years combined have been detected, and this trend is expected to continue, if not grow, throughout this year.

What else is to be expected?

  1. Banker Trojans and fake antiviruses will be the most prevalent malware types in 2009. Banker Trojans are designed to steal login passwords for banking services, account numbers, etc, while fake antiviruses try to pass themselves off as real antivirus products to convince targeted users they have been infected by malicious codes. Victims are then prompted to buy the rogue antivirus to remove these bogus infections. Cyber-crooks are currently profiting substantially from this type of fraud.
  2. A significant proliferation of malware targeting new platforms such as Mac OS Leopard X. Linux or iPhone. The number of malware strains created for Mac or Linux platforms will grow in 2009, although they will still represent a very low percentage compared to the total number of threats.
  3. The financial crisis will also bring an increase in malware related to stock markets and false job offers. Over the last few months of 2008, research has been conducted showing a clear correlation between the financial crisis and malware strategies: every stock market drop is followed by a spike in the amount of malware in circulation and the increase in the unemployment rate translates into a boom in false job offers aimed at recruiting money mules. According to the PandaLabs forecasts, this will repeat in 2009. Fake job offers will continue to grow whenever the unemployment rate goes up.

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