Among the findings, the Aladdin CRST report titled, “Aladdin eSafe CSRT 2005 Malicious Code Report: The big Threats Shift” released the following data:
* 213 Percent Increase in Spyware — The number of malicious threats
classified as spyware by the Aladdin CSRT grew from 1,083 in 2004 to
3,389 in 2005, representing a huge spike of more than 213 percent.
“Spyware” refers to a broad category of malicious software designed to
intercept or take partial control of a computer’s operation without the
informed consent of that machine’s owner or legitimate user, often
driven by financial gain and associated with various computer crimes
* 142 Percent Increase in Trojans — The number of malicious threats
classified as Trojans by the Aladdin CSRT grew from 1,455 in 2004 to
3,521 in 2005, representing a 142 percent rise. “Trojans” are defined
as malicious programs disguised as legitimate software. They could be
legitimate software modified by crackers to include malicious code, or
a program that masquerades as something benign, such as a game or image
file, in order to trick the user to execute it.
* 56 Percent Increase in Viruses / Other Threats — The number all other
malicious threats grew from 6,222 in 2004 to 9,713 in 2005,
representing a 56 percent increase. “Viruses and other threats” include
email worms and file infectors defined as self-replicating/propagating
malicious applications. Unlike Spyware and Trojan horses, viruses and
worms have self-spreading capabilities utilizing email, networks,
instant messengers, etc.
“The swelling amount of spyware, as illustrated in the Aladdin CSRT report, is a direct representation of the fast-growing network of organized criminals that empower themselves through computers rather than physical theft,” said Shimon Gruper, vice president of technologies for the Aladdin eSafe Business Unit. “We continue to see a tremendous upswing in spyware and extremely vicious Trojans that are truly causing havoc not only for unfortunate consumers, but also organizations. It serves as further evidence that electronic threats are becoming much less of a game and more of a concentrated effort designed to steal identities and data.”
To request a free copy of the study’s results, email Matthew Zintel of Zintel Public Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Aladdin Content Security Response Team (CSRT) is lead by Aladdin’s top security analysts within the Aladdin eSafe Business Unit based in Israel. The team heads the Aladdin eSafe Security Threats Lab and frequently releases its findings. Aladdin serves as a member of Microsoft’s Virus Information Alliance, AVED (Anti Virus Emergency Discussion Group), the Wild List organization and CME (Common Malware Enumeration). For more information, visit http://www.aladdin.com/home/csrt.
On September 14, 2005, the Aladdin CSRT announced other related findings after conducting a two-month analysis of the top 2,000 known spyware threats. The study found that a staggering 15 percent of spyware threats actually steal passwords and log keystrokes, while also attempting to steal logged-on user names, the hash of administrator passwords, instant messaging usage and email addresses. For more information on this earlier Aladdin CSRT crime-related spyware Study, visit http://www.aladdin.com/news/2005/eSafe/CSRT_Spyware_Research.asp.