The Most Dangerous Malware Trends for 2014

The common thread running through the malware trends we’ve seen in recent months is the evolution, maturation and diversification of the attacks and fraud schemes they facilitate. Malware, once purpose-built, is clearly becoming a flexible platform — in many respects, it is now almost a commodity.

Take, for example, the leak of Carberp’s source code in 2013. Carberp joined Zeus as the latest prominent Man-in-the-Browser malware to become “open.” With access to this source code, cyber criminals can quickly implement a wide variety of attacks and fraud schemes aimed at specific targets.

Along with the more traditional and pure in-browser attacks, SMS-stealing attacks are becoming common, researcher evasion is quickly emerging as a malware trend and new approaches to account takeover and remote device control are being encountered more and more frequently.

 


 

Not surprisingly, malware is still the most dangerous threat to enterprises, end users and financial institutions. Its success has spawned improved detection and prevention technologies that continue to threaten malware’s existence. This has forced cyber criminals to evolve their own technologies in order to stay ahead of security vendors. They have responded through diversification, by inventing new fraud mechanics to evade existing security solutions, and commoditization, by turning cutting-edge, limited-circulation techniques into mainstream capabilities.

These are indicators that the cyber crime industry is prospering and is able to withstand pressure from advances in security technologies. What’s needed is a disruptive approach to security that addresses the root cause of infections and cyber crime. This approach will need to respond to new cyber crime techniques and malware trends in real time while also providing holistic protection.

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Amit Klein

CTO, Trusteer, an IBM company

As Trusteer’s CTO, Amit Klein is responsible for researching and introducing game changing technologies into Trusteer’s products, with particular focus on Turtseer’s enterprise solutions. Prior to that, Mr. Klein established, managed and grew the company’s security group, which is one of the world’s leading financial malware research groups. Prior to Trusteer, Mr. Klein was Chief Scientist at Cyota Inc. (acquired by RSA Security), a leading provider of layered authentication solutions. In this role, Mr. Klein researched technologies that prevent online fraud, phishing, and pharming and filed several patents in those areas. Prior to this, Mr. Klein worked as Director of Security and Research at Sanctum, Inc. (acquired by Watchfire, now part of IBM Security Systems), where he was responsible for the security content of all Sanctum products. Mr. Klein holds a B.Sc. (cum laude) in Mathematics and Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (through IDF’s Talpiot programme). Mr. Klein is a world-renowned security researcher, having published more than thirty articles, papers and technical notes on the topic of Internet security. He was named CTO of the Year by InfoWorld Magazine and has presented at many prestigious conferences including RSA US, FSISAC, OWASP, Microsoft BlueHat, InterOp USA, AusCERT and CertConf.