Security experts have found a silver lining in the recession: it’s hitting cybercriminals hard too, leading to a drop in malware. That’s right; there really are hard times all over. A German security firm has released a report showing a 30% drop in unique malware signatures and says it’s no holiday lull.
“The black economy operates according to demanding economic criteria: supply and demand define business. The global economic crisis has not left the e-crime economy untouched,” says G Data’s Ralf Benzmller in an official release.
“Following on from dumping prices for the sending of spam, the downturn has now reached the writers of malware code. Order books for this particular branch of the industry seem currently to be falling back. Therefore we expect a stagnation in new malware figures for the current month.”
If the company’s findings are true, it’s likely the drop in malware could continue. It’s not all good news though. The lack of money may mean cybercriminals won’t have the means to create new Trojans or botnets, but it also means that cheaper forms of cybercrime, namely spam, are likely to rise.
Scareware attacks may also increase as cybercriminals look for more cost effective ways to make money, and phishing will also continue to rise as scammers find new ways to trick people into giving up their personal information.
Malware itself isn’t going anywhere. Despite the recession it’s still profitable. Malware attacks targeting breaking news and special events show no signs of slowing down, as the recent attacks that sprung up quickly after the sudden death of pop icon Michael Jackson. Social engineering attacks will also rise as criminals try to cash in on the ever increasing popularity of sites like Twitter and Facebook.
The silver lining is there, but there are storm clouds all around it, so don’t relax. Keep your anti-virus software up to date, make sure your spam filters are strong and working properly and remember, common sense is a cybercriminal’s worst enemy!