It is becoming increasingly clear that at the current rate of growth in malware in circulation and under development, computer operating systems and applications will continue to be compromised at an ever increasing rate.
According to Panda Labs, Panda Security’s laboratory for detecting and analyzing malware, every single day in 2007, it received and analyzed more than 3,000 new strains of malware, an increase of 800% over 2006 . Malware epidemic anyone?
Of particular concern is the installation of malware based on social engineering, which seems poised for a major increase in activity; an opportunity created with the boost in user participation on MySpace, FaceBook, and other social networking sites.
More and more, cyber crooks are using malware to infect computers with the objective of turning the infected machines into zombies, which working together with other infected machines, operate as a powerful networked computer system.
Many computer security analysts are now convinced malware, phishing attacks and other cyber crimes from these powerful botnets can be expected to increase in frequency.
Statistics on the number of botnets are difficult to come by, but according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are at least 1 million botnetted computers in the U.S. Worst, some security companies estimate that currently there are as many as 10 million botnetted machines worldwide. Indeed, some researchers believe that this may just be the part of the iceberg that we can see above the waterline.
For your own benefit it’s obviously important to keep your computer from becoming infected and becoming a part of this problem. Perhaps it’s less obvious that we all share a responsibility to help protect other computer users on the Internet from becoming infected. The way to do that is to ensure that you are part of the solution; not part of the problem created by running an insecure machine, or by engaging in unsafe surfing practices.
In effect then, it’s up to individuals to keep up as best they can; which means installing as many levels of functional protection as possible.
Trend Micro, a leader in Internet content security, has released a beta of RUBotted, a small program that watches for incoming bot-related traffic which is worth considering adding to your security toolbox.
The following program description has been obtained from TrendSecure.
Trend Micro RUBotted (Beta) is a small program that runs on your computer, watching for bot-related activities. RUBotted intelligently monitors your computer’s system behavior for activities that are potentially harmful to both your computer and other people’s computers.
RUBotted monitors for remote command and control (C&C) commands sent from a bot-herder to control your computer. Additionally, RUBotted watches for an array of potentially malicious bot-related activities, including mass mailing – a common activity performed by a bot-infected computer.
RUBotted co-exists with your existing AV software, providing advanced bot specific behavior monitoring. RUBotted does not rely on frequent, network intensive updates to ensure your computer’s continued protection.
Windows 2000 Professional (Latest Service Pack Installed)
Windows XP Professional or Home Edition (Latest Service Pack Installed)
Windows 2003 Server (Latest Service Pack Installed)
Windows Vista (32 Bit with Latest Service Pack Installed)