Malware Threats Skyrocketed in 2007

Symantec mulling new security approach
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Apr 8, 2008 2:51 PM CDT
SonicWALL statistics show ongoing growth in the volume of spam, virus and phishing attacks, increased use of PDF spam and continual evolution of new ways to circumvent anti-spam solutions.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Last year saw an explosion in malware threats that has Symantec considering a new approach to Internet security—“whitelisting” legitimate computer code rather than blacklisting known threats. Of 1.1 million threats the company has discovered in over 25 years, it uncovered almost two-thirds of them in 2007, Computerworld reports. Symantec blames the escalation on the emergence of efficient malware-creating organizations.

The company says these organizations hire programmers to create lucrative phishing schemes, developing a sophisticated industry complete with specialization and outsourcing. "A group of specialized programmers can create a larger number of new threats than can a single malicious code author, bringing about economies of scale and therefore an increased return on investment," declares the Symantec report. (Read more malware stories.)