Malware authors hungry for profit

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Malware authors hungry for profit

Hackers creating increasing numbers of trojans and bots for financial gain.

The vast majority of malware is created with criminal intent as black-hat hackers turn from technical one-upmanship to seeking real financial gain, according to a new report.

Some 88 percent of the new malware detected in the second quarter of 2006 was related to cyber-crime, reported PandaLabs in its latest global report. 

"The results show how malware creators are concentrating on profiting from their efforts, creating increasing numbers of trojans and bots," said Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs.

"The greatest danger is that trojans are installed and operate silently without users noticing any of the typical symptoms of infection, and victims are unaware that their computers are being used to steal from them or even from third parties."

Over 54 percent of the new malware detected by PandaLabs comprised trojans, compared to 47 percent in the previous quarter.

Trojans are highly versatile and can be used for a variety of nefarious actions such as stealing bank details or downloading other malicious applications.

Bot-building trojans, used to assemble networks of zombie PCs from which criminal gangs can launch denial of service attacks or spread spam, represented 16 percent of the total, up from 12 percent the previous quarter.

New backdoor trojans accounted for 12 percent, while rogue diallers represented just 3.8 per cent of all malware. Adware and spyware accounted for 1.7 percent.
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