McAfee says malware is getting more sophisticated

By on February 22, 2013, 8:30 AM

McAfee’s fourth quarter 2012 threats report highlights the fact that malware attacks are not only growing in frequency but sophistication. The security firm said the number of trojans built to steal passwords was up 72 percent during the last three months of 2012.

We are told that some of the malware in question is part of customized, targeted threats while others are just your run-of-the-mill malware. McAfee specifically mentioned the Citadel trojan as an example that was designed to target financial institutions. Banks also had to contend with Operation High Roller and Project Blitzkrieg in recent months.

Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, said we are seeing attacks shifting into a variety of new areas like factories, corporations and government agencies as well as the infrastructure that connects them. He suggests that it represents a new chapter in cyber security where creating malware for profit is now a growing underground market.

In related news, McAfee also says that mobile malware is at an all-time high. The security firm’s research shows that the number of mobile malware samples discovered last year were 44 times higher than the amount found in 2011. Specifically, Android-based malware jumped an alarming 85 percent during the last few months of 2012.

Booby-trapped websites are becoming more prominent as well, replacing botnets as a means of attack. Suspicious URLs rose 70 percent and of those, 95 percent were found to host malware.

User Comments: 8

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SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I think that is a fairly obvious report. Change a few words around and the names and it could have been released at any point in the last 15 years, and likely for the next few at least.

PinothyJ said:

As long as my Trend Micro still keeps me safe I am good...

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Wiped a Dell Vostro 200 with a Dell XP Home SP2 re-installation CD the other day, completely deleted the partitions and formatted a new one and the PC still had a nasty malware/several infections. KJPAM.EXE or Porn.exe is all I could tell, machine kept locking me out of using anything....put my USB drive in for seconds and that got infected too, after a complete wipe!

Guest said:

It's so sophisticated that McAfee's software can no longer keep up.

Tygerstrike said:

What surprises me more then anything is the fact that most ppl dont believe that their phones CAN get viruses! I cant tell you how many times I have assisted a customer with malware removal on their phone. Most times those same ppl wont even download a free app to help protect their cellphone. With everyone doing everything on their cellphones now, we will continue to see a lot more malware directed at moble devices.

ikesmasher said:

Lol why does it seem half the other people in the world have virus problems? I have had 2 virus problems, and those were on family PCs, not mine...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

So did McAfee himself tweet this from jail?

One of the worst possible consequences of malware becoming "more sophisticated", is that it will probably become "bloatware" as well.

Oh sure you laugh, but why the heck not? Everything else has bulked up more than quite a bit!

Here I'm picturing malware sending error messages thus, "there is insufficient space on drive "C/:" to install this program. Please send $50.00 to "", and we will get rid of any unnecessary files or folders preventing the installation of this program".....:eek:

Dustyn Dustyn said:

It's so sophisticated that McAfee's software can no longer keep up.

When was the last time anyone relied on McAffee for anything virus related? Yet along malware related?

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