The end of computer worms?

Worms, once responsible for some of the worst virus epidemics in history, are now on the decline and gradually fading into the background. Recent figures compiled by PandaLabs reveal that worms have been outnumbered by more notorious malicious code such as adware or trojans which currently present a combined consideration of approximately 49% of all detected infections.
In its latest malware audit obtained from the Panda ActiveScan online solution in October, worms scored only 8.31% having gradually weakened from 18.14% in November 2006 and 12.11% in January 2007. On the contrary, adware and trojans have kept their high corruption rate and now strengthened to an infection score of 25.97% and 23.37% respectively.
The gradual decrease in the number of worms has been down to the arrival of more effective strains of malware and a new strategic approach to malware attacks. The idea is now similar to a guerilla approach whereby specific chunks of malware are created to attack specific networks or a company. While that form of malware can be incredibly effective and destructive to a targeted network, it ironically remains completely harmful to other networks.
Worms have advanced in terms of their sophistication but their prime focus remains the same. They continue to create havoc and panic but are usually motivated by nothing more than pure hate attacks.
Conversely, targeted guerilla attacks have been on the rise primarily fuelled by a shift in interests focused on malware dynamics. An ever increasing online reliance helped to nurture this new phenomenon which has now influenced malware mindset to the extent where notoriety has been completely played down by financial gain. In effect, the sole purpose of creating new malware is now financially led.   
Dominic Hoskins, Panda Security UK commented:

Crashing computer networks might seem like an achievement but it proves less profitable to an individual than obtaining sensitive confidential information. Malware sophistication still remains the key to overcome AVs and firewalls but it is the new strategic approach to malware attacks that matters. This new approach is financially motivated and involves building malware from scratch for a specific target.

Trojans have become popular due to their capacity to generate large profits through theft of information used for online fraud or by charging advertisers for sending spam by means of botnets. Adware, embodied by advertising banners, is home to the unscrupulous marketing companies that pay its creators to display unsolicited advertising.

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