The Malware Economy

Seeing the malware industry gradually growing forces you into thinking about how this happens. Well, the malware industry -like any other business- works in the matter of demand versus supply and it offers a wide range of products like banking Trojans and ransomware.

Symantec issued the “State of financial Trojans 2014” whitepaper, containing statistics about financial Trojans. Let’s have a look.

  • More than 1400 financial institutions in 86 countries were targeted with financial Trojans.
  • More than 40% of the Trojans targeted the top 9 financial institutions.
  • Bitcoin, Boleto and password managers are the new targets.
  • An increase of up to 10 times was noticed for the number of infections of Zeus (Trojan.Zbot).
  • US followed by UK and Germany are the countries with the most financial Trojan infections.

We can say that malware industry has evolved significantly. Once it was used for fun but in time it turned in to a targeted weapon. There are groups like Anonymous who use their abilities for their own ideological purposes while there are also groups like DD4BC who are in the money making business and according to some reports the last type of groups (having financial aim) significantly outweighs the groups like Anonymous who have ideological aim.

According to a report provided by Kaspersky Labs, more than 70% of world malware is Banking malware, Bitcoin wallet stealers comes close to 15%, following by Bitcoin mining software at 10% and a small percentage is Keyloggers. The malware industry has wide scale phishing attacks, big botnets and centralized malware distribution channels in its armory but since these methods of attack are being used at large scale, it is easier for the law enforcement organizations to spot them and treat them.

As malware mechanism are gradually changing and becoming stronger, it is also more challenging for any malware protection mechanisms to keep up. The hackers need to stay undetected by the law enforcement’s eye and in order to achieve that they aim into constructing as smaller and as stealthier malware possible.

Here’s a list of malware used in 2014 and the relative percentage, for your information:

  • Memory dumper   6%
  • Remote administration tool   2%
  • Download and execute 8%
  • Keylogger 4%
  • Click-fraud (malverising) 4%
  • Backdoor 9%
  • Persistence 9%
  • Botnet 3,9%
  • Other 9%
  • Penetration testing tool 4%
  • Bitcoin miner 5%
  • Exfiltration tool 2%
  • Ransomware 2%

Some recent data posted on the 2015 Trustwave Global Security report show that:

  • Weak passwords & security on remote access were responsible for 94% of POS breaches. In more detail, 28% of the security breaches were caused due to weak passwords and another 28% were caused due to weak remote access security.
  • Unpatched vulnerabilities contributed to almost 75% of e-commerce breaches.

Do you know that you may be helping hackers to deliver their attacks without knowing? Keeping a low security level on your machine may result in an event where your machine will become part of a botnet and hackers will use your resources for their malicious work. So use a trustworthy antivirus solution and partner it with a good malware protection tool for maintaining a safe system and avoid being the target of malicious attacks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *