Friday, March 27, 2009

New Malware & Viruses

According to ESET, a computer security firm, the most recent virus and other malware attacks are sophisticated and insidious as they rely on socially engineered tactics that lure probable victims into downloading malicious code on their systems. The statement came as a warning that ESET raised during a briefing to the press in Makati City (Philippines).

The security company states that amidst all Internet threats, fake anti-malware programs pose the greatest danger. According to it, a pop-up box would usually emerge saying that there is a spyware or malware on the user's system; therefore, the user needs to click on link to get free anti-spyware or anti-malware software.

The spyware or malware, while taking gain of the genuine software, continues to stay on the user's system despite the free protection solution.
Other variations of similarly socially engineered malicious software also exist like false codecs that generate pop-up boxes informing possible sufferers that there is need to download some specific software to run and watch video files. Apart from spreading via the Internet, spyware, viruses and other malicious programs are transmitted by modern methods of "sneakernet" like being carried on USB (universal bus) storage devices such as multimedia cards and flash disks rather than floppy disks.

Another threat spreading like this is the Downadup or Conficker computer worm that has come up recently. This virus creeps into systems and makes its own copies on other computers. This implies that if any single computer is infected within a network of computers, the infection will disseminate across the whole network.

For instance, if one school computer is infected with the Conficker virus and it does not have the appropriate antivirus, then the malware could spread across the entire network of the school, potentially corrupting other PCs.

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