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Mass Customized Attacks Show Malware Maturity

posted onMay 20, 2013
by l33tdawg

L33tdawg: Video of their talk from #HITB2013AMS is available on YouTube.

Products frequently follow a trajectory from customized prototypes to mass-produced goods, and -- when the market matures -- manufacturers typically find ways to lure consumers by allowing efficient customization.

The evolution is no different for malware. At one time, each author built his own malicious program. Then, from early virus creation kits to more modern exploit kits, developers industrialized the creation of malicious programs, allowing criminals to easily create attacks to fit their needs. Increasingly, however, attackers are combining easy-to-create mass attacks with the ability to tailor the malware to target specific groups.

These mass customized attacks gain many of the benefits of targeted malware -- such as more readily fooling victims and evading defenses -- while also being easy to create, two researchers from Adobe told attendees at the recent Hack in the Box Conference in Amsterdam. With efficient creation of malware under their belts, malware authors are searching for customizations that will make their malware the most successful, Peleus Uhley, platform security strategist for Adobe, said in an e-mail interview.

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