SOURCE: Kaspersky Lab, Inc.

February 29, 2008 08:00 ET

Kaspersky Lab Releases 2007 Security Bulletin

Bulletin Outlines Malware's Move From Individual, Notoriety-Seeking Attacks to Fully Organized, Well-Oiled International Operations

WOBURN, MA--(Marketwire - February 29, 2008) - Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of Internet threat management solutions that protect against viruses, spyware, hackers and spam, today announces the release of its annual report, Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2007: The Evolution of Threats in 2007. The full report is available on Viruslist.com.

Kaspersky Lab's annual report analyzes the past year in Internet threats and the changing landscape of malware development using raw data gathered from Kaspersky's world-renowned virus lab. The year 2007 emerged as the year of the demise of "non-profit" malicious programs. Rather than large-scale attacks, almost all outbreaks in the past year were short-lived and targeted at individual regions. This targeted approach to Internet attacks has become the preferred method by malware authors around the world.

Key Trends and Events in 2007:

--  Storm Worm: Storm Worm made its first appearance in January 2007 and
    continued to make its impact felt throughout the year.  Storm Worm was a
    "malware author's cocktail" of all virus writing techniques including:
    rootkit technologies, code obfuscation, botnets that protect against
    analysis and communication between infected computers via P2P without a
    command center.  Couple this with the plethora of ways in which Storm Worm
    could spread itself and it becomes apparent why Storm Worm sent ripple
    effects across the Internet.
    
--  DoS Attacks: For close to four years, DoS attacks have been laying
    dormant, but in 2007 they surged to the forefront as a tool for malware
    authors.  Unlike four years ago, the DoS attacks of 2007 were generally
    motivated by political or competitive reasons and not for extorting money
    from victims.  The attack on Estonia in May 2007 is the most prominent
    example of a DoS attack in the past year and is widely considered the first
    example of cyber warfare.
    
--  Malware as a Business: In 2007, the selling of malicious content
    became a full-fledged business.  Web sites such as Wabisabilabi offered
    cybercriminals the ability to purchase malware that came with a technical
    support staff and stringent service level agreements.  Pinch is a prime
    example of a business along these lines.  Pinch authors developed a Trojan
    program with more than 4,000 custom variants.  In December 2007, the
    authors of Pinch were arrested.
    
--  Online Games: Trojans designed to steal data from online game users
    significantly outnumbered banking Trojans this past year.
    
--  Mass Site Hackings: Mass site hackings in which malicious programs or
    links to infected sites are placed on hacked sites showed up with more
    frequency in 2007.  In one event, 10,000 sites were hacked and the Mpack
    exploit pack was placed on sites.  The malicious program was linked to the
    notorious Russian Business Network (RBN), which has since dispersed into
    several hosting services in various countries to mask the scale of its
    activities.
    
--  Spam Continues to Hold Ground: In 2007, 79% of all email traffic seen
    by Kaspersky Lab can be attributed to spam.  The leading category for spam
    this past year was advertising for Viagra and other medications, health-
    related goods and services.
    

In total, the number of threats in 2007 more than doubled. Kaspersky Lab added almost as many signatures to its databases as it had during the preceding 15 years. It is likely that the pace at which new threats appear will continue at the current torrid rate and double again by the end of 2008 with new malware threats, rootkits and bootkits, file viruses, social network attacks and mobile threats garnering significant attention.

Quote:

Tom Bowers, senior security evangelist, Kaspersky Lab

"2007 marked a pivotal year for what has been developing in the background for years -- the organized malware ecosystem. Gone are the days when hackers carried out vindictive schemes from their basements. With today's malware authors conducting themselves in much the same way that a legitimate international conglomerate does, we now have to be as vigilant as ever in winning the fight against cybercrime."

About Kaspersky Lab:

Kaspersky Lab delivers the world's most immediate protection against IT security threats, including viruses, spyware, crimeware, hackers, phishing and spam. Kaspersky Lab products provide superior detection rates and the industry's fastest outbreak response time for large enterprises, SMBs, home users and the mobile computing environment. Kaspersky® technology is also used worldwide inside the products and services of more than 100 of the industry's leading IT security solution providers. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com. For the latest on antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam and other IT security issues and trends, visit www.viruslist.com.

Contact Information:
Jennifer Jewett
Kaspersky Lab, Inc.
+ 1 781 503 1856
jennifer.jewett@kaspersky.com