The first half of this year brought new surprises in terms of cyber-warfare with the discovery of Flamer – one of the most potent and complex e-threats to date. Designed to run stealthily and collect data through an astounding range of approaches, Flamer managed to evade AV detection for some five years. Flamer is one of the biggest pieces of malware to date: it is comprised of more than 63 distinct files, including core components and plugins. The modular architecture allows it to rapidly extend its functionality with the addition of LUA code.

The malware landscape remained relatively constant, with Trojan.AutorunInf, Win32.Worm.Downadup and Exploit.CplLnk as the top three e-threats worldwide. The first two pieces of malware are more than four years old and, even though the vulnerabilities that allow them to infect systems have been addressed, they still claim victims.

Malware focused on direct financial gain is constantly gaining ground. Apart from the notorious Banker Trojans, covert Bitcoin miners have been growing since their discovery in mid-2011. Cyber-criminals either exchange the mined Bitcoins for local conventional currencies, or use them for trading on underground forums.

The rampant evolution of malware will continue through the second half of 2012. We expect to see the number of malicious applications jump from 65,500,000 to approximately 76,000,000 as cyber-criminals tackle new means of obfuscation and delivery for e-threats.

Download now the full H1 2012 E Threat Landscape Report (pdf)

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