Hackers are combining different malware into Frankensteinien new monstrosities

Make sure your anti-virus programs are up to date and all your system patches have been applied. #seb #computing #security

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Part virus, part botnet, spreading fast: Ramnit moves past Facebook passwords
The latest variant of Ramnit, the Windows malware responsible for the recent theft of at least 45,000 Facebook logins, is the latest example of how malware writers and cyber-criminals take "off-the-shelf" hacks and bolt them together to teach old viruses new tricks. Facebook passwords aren't the only thing that the Ramnit virus can grab—thanks to the integration of some of the code from the Zeus botnet trojan, Ramnit can now be customized with modules for all manners of remote-controlled mayh…

5 thoughts on “Hackers are combining different malware into Frankensteinien new monstrosities

  1. If we all move to something else the hackers will follow. There is nothing that is totally secure. They have competitions every year that show this to the true. Windows, Mac, Linux, it's all got holes. That's why you patch and keep a good virus scanner up to date.

  2. So I'm all in favor of patches, but is anti-virus still a good idea? I've found that it can impose a non-trivial load on both CPU and disk (we're not all running solid-state yet); and beyond that, I'm under the impression that the very best ones only catch 90% of viruses: so if it's a safe assumption that more than 10 viruses will be thrown at any given box, then (if i did the math right: 1 – (0.9^10)) there's a ~65% chance of infection, which seems too high to justify the cost (both financial and performance). Any thoughts?

  3. I think your math might be a little off, Matt, otherwise my own PC would've been infected hundreds of thousands of times by now what with all the time I spend on the Internet. Additionally, the 90% figure comes from the fact that new variants are being released all the time that require new signatures to be added to the virus programs to catch. Generally speaking, so long as your anti-virus updates on a regular basis you should be OK more often than not as they put out updates to new threats surprisingly quickly, often within a day of a major new virus hitting the web. Anything that shows any major activity is likely to be dealt with before it ever reaches your machine.

    I do agree that many of the anti-virus programs out there put too much load on the system cough McAfee/Norton cough but that's partially because they're trying to cram a lot of other crap into their suites to justify having to pay for it all over again next year. There are plenty of good anti-virus programs out there that don't try to pack on a lot of extra crap and that don't overburden your system. Microsoft Security Essentials is A) free B) one of the best available and C) not particularly burdensome on your system. I don't even bother to turn it off when I go to play a video game because it doesn't get in the way. Something I used to do quite a bit with McAfee/Norton.

    Lastly, even if we accept your math and assume that the average anti-virus program only protected us against 35% of the viruses out there, that's still 35% that you don't have to worry about infecting your machine.

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