Sophos: Simple Malware Attacks Are Still Dangerous

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 11-08-2006
While cybercriminals are becoming more organized in order to monetize their malware and online fraud efforts, researchers contend that technologically simple attacks remain just as effective for stealing information as newer, more sophisticated programs.

Criminals continue to steal millions of forms of identification using phishing schemes and spyware programs, and there is little evidence to suggest that the attackers need to adopt more advanced programming techniques to continue to carry out their work, according to Mark Harris, global director of SophosLabs, the researching arm of antivirus specialist company Sophos, based in Abingdon, England.

For more on security issues, see Study: Technology Not an IT Security Solution

Security experts have decried the creation of increasingly complex malware attacks, such as so-called polymorphic viruses that can change their signatures with each new infection to go undetected and continue to spread on their own. However, most personal information continues to be stolen using variants of well-known spyware and Trojan attacks.

Security software makers and internal IT departments are well-versed in finding and blocking such attacks, but the sheer volume of malware threats combined with continued lack of discretion on the part of users is allowing comparatively crude programs to continue to reap rewards for criminals, according to SophosLabs' latest research.

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