Kaspersky Lab has released its latest analytical report, entitled Malware Evolution: 2005. The report is based on data received from Kaspersky Lab´s round the clock monitoring of malicious code. It covers the evolution of malicious code over the past year in detail, including developments which have taken place in the criminal underground. Presented in accessible language, the report will be of interest both to IT security professionals and computer users, and includes graphs and tables for easy reference.
Changing trends in malware evolution are evidence of the criminal motivation of many virus writers. The report shows a significant increase in the number of Trojan programs of all types. These programs are becoming ever more popular, as they can be installed on victim machines without the user´s knowledge or consent. System resources, passwords for online games, and other confidential and personal data can then be accessed by remote malicious users and used for financial gain.
In contrast to Trojans, the number of worms and viruses has decreased. This is a clear consequence of increasing criminalization. Virus writers and malicious users find it far easier to mass mail a Trojan program than to engage in the time consuming and costly development of new worms.
In spite of the move towards writing and using malicious code for financial gain, the computer underground is also still alert to the possibilities presented by new platforms and operating systems. The report includes information about Trojan programs for Sony Playstation and Nintendo gaming consoles, and also new malware for mobile phones running Symbian OS.