Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Spyware Trends

In one of the honeypots we had to collect spywares, the number of spywares collected hit a meter of 376 unique families and over 3000 samples in a single day which is quite high for a single honeypot. The spywares are rising in number and are spreading capability over different platforms like windows, Windows Mobile, Macintosh, Android, Symbian etc.

A new trend of spyware has come into picture called Spear Spyware. The spear spyware is one which is targeted to a particular organization or a set of individuals and hence has no signature, is based on target’s infrastructure. Such kind of spywares are very difficult to detect and are meant to capture specific information like files, username/passwords, banking information, keylogs, screenshots of the target computer.

Another trend obtained saw evolution of privilege escalation in spywares which gave them a greater capability to even spy on web and video cameras, audio along with normal functionality.

The spywares created are also meant to steal application data which is sensitive. An example observed in 2010 was Stuxnet which exploited vulnerability in Siemens software for SCADA to become one of the most widely spread spywares.

Considering the serious damage accomplished by spyware, the fact that studies by Forrester Research find that as many as 87% of PCs are infected with spyware is sobering. Even more sobering is the fact that infected computers has, on average, 28 different types of spyware installed at any given time, and 7% of infected computers are infected with spyware that records keystrokes such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Source of Information :  Hakin9 November 2010
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