Trojans: weapon of choice for cyber-crooks

Trojans accounted for 74 percent of new malware variants that appeared during the first quarter of 2007, according to PandaLabs. This represents an increase of 20 percent compared to the global data for 2006 and 17 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2006.

“This confirms that Trojans have become a key weapon in the new cyber-crime strategy.  The possibility of using them to steal all kinds of passwords, email addresses, etc. makes them one of the most popular malware types. Also, cyber-crooks usually launch a lot of variants of a Trojan in a short period of time to infect as many computers as possible in a single attack. This has turned Trojans into the type of malware with the highest number of new variants month after month”, explains Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs.

Worms come second, with 13 percent of all new variants and a growth-rate of 8 percent compared to last year. Adware (10 percent) and spyware (2 percent) are the other malware categories that showed a significant number of new variants. 

“Both adware and spyware are widely used in the new malware dynamic. Their relatively low numbers compared to Trojans is not due to the fact that they are less used, but because their means of distribution is more silent and damage is less visible. As a result, they stay on computers longer and cyber-crooks don’t think it is necessary to launch new variants”, adds Corrons. 

The “Other” category includes several malware types that had less new variants: PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), viruses, dialers, hacking tools,-¦
“The inclusion of viruses and dialers in this group confirms these malware types are in constant regression quarter after quarter, due to the fact that they cannot be profited from”, explains Luis Corrons.


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