Aug 31, 2009

Invasion of the botnets: Cyberattacks on the rise

For the past year, the cyber threat landscape has been dominated not by new vulnerabilities and exploits so much as by the sheer number of attacks against information technology systems and the growing professionalization of the bad guys behind them. 
“The sexiness of the threat has not increased,” said one industry observer who met with a multiagency task force on intrusion. “But the exposure in terms of the number of exploits is growing exponentially.”

The numbers are sobering.

“Malware is at the highest point we’ve ever seen it,” said Dave Marcus, director of security research at McAfee Avert Labs. “2008 was the biggest year so far. The first half of 2009 has eclipsed all of 2008,” with 8,000 new variants appearing each day. “It’s easier to create new malware than ever before.”

Symantec reports similar activity. The company created 1.6 million new threat signatures in 2008, or about one new signature every 20 seconds. It has created 2 million signatures in the first half of this year, or about one every eight seconds. 


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