72% of malware detected in the third quarter of 2006 was designed for obtaining money

The 2006 Q3 report published by PandaLabs has revealed a disturbing fact: over 72% of detections carried out by the free online scanner Panda ActiveScan are related to Internet crime. Trojans, backdoors, adware, spyware, bots and dialers were the threats most frequently detected used to obtain economic benefit fraudulently. The complete report can be downloaded, free of charge.

Adware and spyware were the threats most frequently detected by Panda ActiveScan, accounting for 41% of all detections. Both spyware and adware are related to advertising, as they aim to gather personal data about the online store websites users visit, in order to offer them products and services that adapt to their preferences. This practice is illegal if carried out without the affected user’s consent, as it involves a violation of their privacy for commercial purposes.

Compared to previous reports, figures remain more or less at the same level, with only significant changes in the number of Trojans and backdoors detected. The number of Trojans detected has decreased by 5 points in comparison to the previous quarter, whereas detection of backdoors increased to 7.2% of the total number of detections carried out by ActiveScan.

The report also reflects cyber-crooks’ desire to exploit new unknown software vulnerabilities which could allow them to introduce their creations surreptitiously in computers, instead of using them to cause epidemics largely covered in the media.

According to Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs: “Financial motives are determining the activity of threat creators almost exclusively now. These are professional criminals who create malicious code not to achieve notoriety or show their programming skills, but simply to get money. We believe that this trend will not only be maintained in the future, but it will increase further. In this situation, it is essential to keep one’s guard up at all times and use all technological means of protection at hand.”

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