Menu
Malware now being developed by pre-teens: AVG

Malware now being developed by pre-teens: AVG

Security vendor finds children dabbling with the creation of malicious code

Comments

Kids may be getting into laptops, tablets and smartphones earlier than ever before, but this also extends to the development of malicious code for those devices, according to AVG’s Q4 2012 Community Powered Threat Report, which found evidence of pre-teens writing malware.

To support this claim, AVG Technologies’ chief technology officer, Yuval Ben-Itzhak, points to an incident where an 11-year-old child developed a Trojan to steal game login information.

“We have now seen a number of examples of very young individuals writing malware, including an 11-year-old from Canada,” he said.

Ben-Itzhak said the code usually takes the form of a basic Trojan written using the .NET framework.

“[.NET] is easy to learn for beginners and simple to deploy via a link in an email or posted on a social media page,” he said.

While stealing somebody’s game logins may at first seem a minor problem, Ben-Itzhak said online gaming accounts are often connected to credit card details for in-game purchases.

As for what motivates these junior programmers, Ben-Itzhak said it is by the “thrill of outwitting their peers” and not “financial gain.”

As many gamers have a tendency to use the same login details for other online services, such as Facebook and Twitter, the victim also runs the risk of cyber-bullying or identity theft.

“It is also logical to assume that at least some of those responsible will be tempted to experiment with much more serious cyber-crimes,” Ben-Itzhak said.

Too cool for school

Another key finding in the report was that exploit toolkits were responsible for almost 60 per cent of all threat activity online was performed in 2012.

Ben-Itzhak said the kits are likely the result of established cyber-criminals creating and selling commercial toolkits at a premium to less technically savvy users.

One new exploit toolkit from late 2012 that is an example of this is the Cool Toolkit, which in turn bore more than a passible resemblance to the Blackhole Exploit Kit.

While the Blackhole toolkit accounted for 40 per cent of the top web threats in Q4 2012, the new one claimed 16 per cent.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AVGsecuritymalware

Upcoming

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: VMworld 2015 Asia-Pacific and Japan party (+ 32 photos)

IN PICTURES: VMworld 2015 Asia-Pacific and Japan party (+ 32 photos)

VMware recently held an Asia-Pacific and Japan party for its partners in San Francisco following two days of keynotes and sessions. Whilst mingling and enjoying drinks and finger food, the partners were joined by VMware management who also took the opportunity to let their hair down to have some fun.

IN PICTURES: VMworld 2015 Asia-Pacific and Japan party (+ 32 photos)
IN PICTURES: VMworld 2015 sponsor and partner showcase (+41 photos)

IN PICTURES: VMworld 2015 sponsor and partner showcase (+41 photos)

VMware's sponsors and partners used the opportunity at VMworld 2015 to showcase some of their technologies. At an exhibition hall, these vendors educated those that popped by their stands on these solutions and addressed some of the issues surrounding mobility, datacentres, and the Cloud. SOme of the big names there included f5, Palo Alto Networks, HP, Intel, Samsung, and Symantec.

IN PICTURES: VMworld 2015 sponsor and partner showcase (+41 photos)

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments