Virus authors choosing to infect fewer people

Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky Labs, speaking at the AusCERT security conference on Australia’s Gold Coast, argued that virus writers are avoiding global malware epidemics in order to focus on the more profitable business of selling zombie networks. Criminal organizations are willing to buy networks of 5,000 to 10,000 zombies to serve spam or launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Malware authors advertise their services in underground newsgroups, start assembling a network after receiving an order, then discontinue the malware they used after finishing an order. By targeting a small number of computers, virus writers have an easier time escaping the notice of antivirus companies. Antivirus firms will have to actively seek out viruses in order to stay ahead of virus writers.


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