Malware focused on theft above all

From AFP’s “70 percent of malicious software aimed at theft: survey“:

Seventy percent of malicious software being circulated is linked to various types of cybercrime, a study by security firms Panda Software showed. …

The survey confirms a shift from several years ago, when malicious software was often aimed at garnering attention or exposing security flaws.

“Malware has become a took for generating financial returns,” the report said. …

About 40 percent of the problems detected by Panda was spyware, a type of malicious code designed for financial gain, primarily through collecting data on users’ Internet activities.

Another 17 percent was trojans, including “banker trojans” that steal confidential data related to bank services, others that download malicious applications onto systems.

Eight percent of the problems detected were “dialers,” malicious code that dials up premium-rate numbers without users’ knowledge; “bots,” a scheme involving the sale or rental of networks of infected computers, accounted for four percent of the total.

The e-mail worm, which was recently considered a major Internet threat, made up only four percent of the total.