Crime is winning the day

Just a typical day at Sophoslabs. I wouldn’t say quiet exactly, because we never are these days, but nothing especially new, just variations on familiar themes. On the spam front there’s been a large number of phishing campaigns as usual. The volume of fraudulent spam we see on a daily basis is really quite remarkable and it seems to have been on a steady increase.

Similarly we’ve see a steady increase in the percentage of malware executables whose aim is to pilfer funds. We’ve seen a steady increase in keyloggers and password stealing Trojans that aim to capture logon details for internet banking sites (and other sites such as ebay) and email this information to a remote location. We’ve also seen an increase in fraudulent applications whose aim is purely to coerce users into paying for a registered version of the (otherwise useless) application.

I’ve been working as a virus analyst for 8.5 years now and during that time I’ve seen trends in malware evolve and change as you would expect. However in the last couple of years I think there’s been a very significant change in the malware landscape, a significant change of emphasis born mostly from the growth of the WWW. In the past – not that many years ago – malware was mostly the product of rebellious youngsters who wanted some respect from their peers. Now a large percentage of malicious executables seem to be the product of organised crime.

It seems the internet is becoming a hot-bed of crime and I’m not sure the police authorities of the world are coping.