The main motivation for malware used to be FAME
The first generation of attacks came from worms and viruses which replicated themselves by file copying and sharing. The "payload" of a virus was some malicious action that corrupted the infected computer (e.g. deleting a set of files) and advertised itself to the user (e.g. launching a pop up dialog with a message "You have been infected"). The motivation of the attacker was usually fame (the attacker could brag about his exploits) or malice (to cause massive destruction to millions of computers and computer network)
The main motivation for malware today is PROFIT
Today the threats to PC security have evolved into sophisticated malware such as Trojans, Keyloggers, Rootkits, and above all Botnets. Amateur hackers have transformed into cyber criminals who are driven primarily by profit motive. The new world of malware is aggressively focusing on opportunities for profit such as:
- Extortion: In response to a threat to attack an organization's vulnerable computer network, a bot master collects "ransom" from the organization.
- Electronic Theft: Stolen passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account information is used to perform unauthorized purchases and money transfers. Stolen information or identity is sold to third parties for profit.
- Advertising: Spam and adware relay services are sold by cyber criminals to legitimate businesses.
- Espionage: An "espionage service" can be offered that attacks the competitors of a business using denial of service attacks and "click-fraud" schemes.
Complete PC Security Needs More Than Signature-Based Anti-Malware
The gaps in traditional technologies that rely on signature based scanning leave the PCs vulnerable to a new breed of highly potent malware (see Looming Threats), and therefore require a new generation of anti-malware technologies, such as NovaShield to fill the gaps and protect you against these threats.