The end of standard mass mailing worms is nigh - maybe as soon as before the end of 2003. But there replacements - Trojans and Spyware - are much, much worse. Or so Roger Thompson, technical director of TruSecure, a risk management firm, forecasts. In particular he warns of the risk from Remote Access Trojans (RATs) or backdoors posted on the Net or spread via email.
"Malware code writers will continue to disguise RATs and backdoor scripts as 'adult' movies and then post them to pornography new groups targeting inexperienced users," he writes. "Expect them to continue through 2003 but they will be mixed with more and more grey ware (i.e. spyware and advertising monitoring that is barely legal)."
Thompson notes mass-mailing Windows viruses were largely unsuccessful in hitting corporations in 2002, with the notable exception of organisations which did implement proper filters. One of the two biggest worms of the year was Klez, which infected home PCs mostly. Macro and script viruses emerged at a rate of 200 to 300 a month in 2002 but this will decrease to approx. 20 to 30 per month, TruSecure believes.
According to Thompson, the impact of the mass-mailing worm is mostly over for corporations but it will still have an impact on SOHO (small office/home office) environments this year.
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News source: The Reg