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Botnet Still King of Malware Underworld

Security software vendors are always playing catch-up to determined cyber crooks using new and more complex malware to infiltrate data networks and steal data or assets with a couple keystrokes.

But as eSecurity Planet discovered, despite all the attention paid in recent months to new and more sophisticated phishing and malware schemes, the tried and true botnet will remain the No. 1 security threat to consumers and businesses through 2013.

In its latest report, IT researcher firm Gartner found that while cloud computing and SOA are expanding the opportunities for more creative and complicated malware, the cyber crooks are content for now using organized botnets to gather personal information and spread spam throughout cyberspace.

This will surely change in a few years, assuming consumers and security software vendors can finally make up the gap between where security needs to be and where it really is today.

Gartner is projecting that to change by the end of 2013 when it expects to see a new crop of delivery mechanisms for attacks targeting hybrid cloud environments where virtualized data centers link to public cloud environments, such as those offered by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN).

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The past year has been replete with dramatic headlines documenting cyberattacks against high-profile targets like Google and the Defense Department, but the basic method of delivering those exploits has held to a familiar pattern, a senior analyst at Gartner said Monday at the research firm's annual Security and Risk Management Summit.

It's not so much that the attacks are becoming hopelessly sophisticated, Gartner's John Pescatore argued. Instead, the botnet style of attack has proven remarkably resilient as an entry point into corporate systems as enterprises embrace new technologies like the cloud, virtualization and social networks.

"We're widening the openings at the same time that they've got these new delivery mechanisms -- botnet delivery mechanisms -- working pretty well," Pescatore said.

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
Botnets Will Dominate Cyberattacks Through 2013: Gartner