Attack Toolkits Spark New Malware Strains
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Prepackaged malware kits, which started out as a novelty for a handful of ambitious hackers but quickly turned into a thriving underground economy, are spreading malware faster and more insidiously than ever before.
As eSecurity Planet reports, the rise of DIY attack toolkits targeting financial institutions, online payment processing sites and social networks like Facebook is causing IT administrators and security software vendors to work overtime to keep pace with an avalanche of deceptive phishing and malware campaigns.
A new report issued this week from security software vendor Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) found that 61 percent of all web-based threats were generated by these attack tool kits.
Unlike past malware campaigns which generally required a considerable amount of code-writing expertise, these click-and-launch kits take all the thinking out of the process and allow people who otherwise would never have gone into the identity-stealing business to become neophyte cybercrooks.
"In the past, hackers had to create their own threats from scratch," Stephen Trilling, senior vice president of Symantec's security technology and response group, said in the report. "Todays attack toolkits make it relatively easy for even a malicious novice to launch a cyberattack."
"As a result, we expect to see even more criminal activity in this area and a higher likelihood that the average user will be victimized," he added.