Spam is not the only threat to your computer on the rise. Malware
Recent research shows that, “Anti-virus vendors are getting more than 50,000 submissions of new malware per day now.” Larry Seltzer at eweek.com shares with readers how malware is created and how we can protect ourselves and our information from malware programs that can steal information or harm our computer systems.
What is Malware? Malware is actually a combination of terms, malicious and software. Malware is software that is specifically designed to cause harm to your computer systems. There are different types of malware, which include Trojans, Spyware and Viruses.
How is it that anti-virus provider’s are getting so many submissions each day? Are there that many forms or malware out there, is more being “created” or written each day. Are all of them effective at harming our computer? Computer expert Larry Seltzer shares with us an inside look at creating malware.
First, it is important to understand that this software is being created every day in an attempt to circumvent any existing security systems you have in place. In order to quickly and easily generate malware, it can either be written (in computer language) or you can purchase a malcode generator. Next malware troublemakers submit this code to a public malware scanning service, like VirusTotal, however there are others available. This is done in an effort to “test drive” the newly designed malware programs and to determine exactly how much undetectable damage this software can do.
If the malware is a so called good one, it can take some time before it is detected or protection can be designed for it. The effective versions of malware programs are eventually reported and distributed among the many anti virus service providers so the window of opportunity is very small for use and distribution of malicious software.
Why so many malware programs each day? This is basically using the concept of you will catch more fish with a big net. The more malware programs that are submitted and found to be “effective” the more they can generate as well as the more damage that can be done. Many of the ones tested are ineffective (good news for us) and as a result it’s back to the keyboard for malware designers. The turnover is tremendous, much like in health and child care.
If there are so many malware programs out there how can we protect ourselves. Security Center Editor, Larry Seltzer recommends, “Anti-malware needs to be combined with other forms of defense, like a firewall, an intrusion prevention product, running your system with least privileged access and not clicking on links in e-mails (or at least being very careful about doing so).
For more information about how to protect your computer using the methods described here read:
For information on CA’s Internet Security Suite of Services read “Do Your Trust Your Internet Security? EZ Trust/CA Antivirus Security Review”
For more ways to protect yourself online, “10 Ways to Protect Yourself Online”
Avoiding spam and not clicking on links in your email read “More is Not Always Better: Spam Email Increases in 2009″