Petaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia (PressExposure) April 12, 2011 -- Lately, the world has seen an unusual increase in hacking attacks, mostly originating from an increase in malwares activities. Many popular online retailers became targets of attack, prompting organizations to beef-up their security defense.
The most popular threat to computer systems, which accounts for 70 percent of all new malware, is still trojan. This is unsurprising considering cyber crimes can be very lucrative for attackers to commit fraud or steal money from Internet users through the online banking channel.
According to recent report from Panda Security's anti-malware laboratory, the number of threats in circulation has risen in comparison to last year. In the first three months of 2011, PandaLabs identified an average of 73,000 new malware strains, most of which were Trojans. In addition, there was a 26 percent increase of new threats compared to the same period last year. The report also stated the increase of new malware in 2010 was not nearly as notable as the one experienced over the last several quarters.
Said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs "The proliferation of online tools that enable non-technical people to create Trojans in minutes and quickly set up illegal business - especially when it can provide access to banking details - is responsible for Trojans' impressive growth".
Not all kind of Trojans grow at the same pace. Trojan is software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install, but steals information or cripple the system. PandaLabs also found that Banker Trojans have decreased, bots have remained steady, and fake anti-virus or rogueware has diminished in popularity. However, the number of "downloaders" has increased significantly.
Trojan downloaders is type of file that seems to do one thing but actually serves as a way for unauthorized access to gain entry into another computer. Once access is gained, the unwanted intruder can access files, watch the screen and even control the computer. A Trojan downloader accesses a file from a remote computer and then installs it on your computer. Hackers often use this method because the downloader is lightweight - only containing a few lines of code - and can go completely unnoticed unlike other Trojans.
"Over the last eighteen months, we have seen an explosion in the variety and volumes of malware, to the extent that we are now processing and archiving between 150,000 - 200,000 unique samples every day," said Chris Pickard, Methodology & Research Director of Malware Research Group.
Accordingly, IT security professionals have to continue to monitor their information security situation closely. Malware comes from hundreds of thousands of sources, and in varying subjects, and is expected to increase in activity.
Malware infections can hurt organizations or even put them out of business. They may lose customers who have their personal information stolen. Malware that steals payment card information can lead to fines and expenses up to millions of dollars. Search engines may also remove websites from search results when malware is detected. Users attempting to visit the site directly may receive an ominous warning from their browser. Even if the malware is identified and removed completely and promptly, there is no guarantee of recovering customers, search rankings, traffic, and revenues. Such things will only leave a negative effect to those organizations affected.
IT professionals can hear about and learn the different threats and countermeasure methodologies that is required to defend their organization's information security systems at Hacker Halted, an information security conference organized by EC-Council. At Hacker Halted, IT professionals also have the chance to attend information security education and trainings. Some of the most sought after technical training & certification classes offered by top training companies and led by well-respected instructors will be available at this IT security conference. Hacker Halted USA 2011, the annual hacker conference hosted by the EC-Council, will be held at the Intercontinental Miami in Miami, Florida from October 21 - 27.