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jeiler's Journal: The future of Malware?

Journal by jeiler

And now we have the latest malware wave, where 1000+ legitimate sites have been hacked to serve a fake Flash player. This is going to seriously hurt CNN's reputation (and ad revenue), as a lot of folks are going to set their mail servers to delete stuff that even mentions CNN. Worse yet, it's going to put a serious hurting on the 1000+ hacked sites: CNN has enough goodwill and trust built up that it will survive the onslaught, but the "other victims" may end up blacklisted by a lot of folks.

Most malware authors have learned not to crap in their own bed: the days of a virus that wiped your files are fading; now we have malware that more-or-less uses your files alone, but uses your connection to send spam or do DoS attacks. If they make the attack less blatant, it's less likely to be discovered and cleaned up.

While the malware authors may be trying to stay quiet on the PC, they sure don't mind hurting companies ... and that hurts the internet as a whole. As much as some in the geek community may dislike it, the Internet is payed for by commerce--internet sales, services, and subscriptions indirectly pay for the infrastructure we all use. If these small companies are hurt by spammers and malware authors, then the small companies may be less willing to maintain an internet presence--which means there will be less people who pay the ISPs to maintain and improve the infrastructure.

There are a lot of contingent statements in the above paragraph, and maybe I'm getting more worried than I should be, but I have to wonder: how long will it be until spammers, scammers, and other low-grade shits ruin the Internet for everyone?

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The future of Malware?

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