Report finds worms in decline

Computer worms, responsible for some of the worst virus outbreaks in recent years, are declining as hackers look to make money instead of inflicting damage, a new report claims. According to latest malware audit from security firm PandaLabs, worms are now heavily outnumbered by malicious codes such as adware or Trojans, which currently make up 49 percent of all detected infections.

During October 2007, worms made up only 8.31 percent of detected threats, down from 18.14 percent in November 2006. Adware and Trojans, on the other hand, accounted for 25.97 percent and 23.37 percent respectively of all threats detected last month.

“Crashing computer networks might seem like an achievement, but it proves less profitable to an individual than obtaining sensitive confidential information,” said Dominic Hoskins, a representative of Panda Security UK.

“Malware sophistication still remains key to overcoming anti-viruses and firewalls, but it is the new strategic approach to malware attacks that matters. This new approach is both financially motivated and involves building malware from scratch for a specific target.”

Trojans have become particularly popular because of their ability to generate more profit from the theft of information, which is then used for online fraud and spam.

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