What's next, are you going to start talking about how there's a worm hidden in everyone's ring 0?
which "tells windows not to report it" and "doesn't show up in the registry editor"
So I kept it in laymen's terms? is there really any need to be technical with respect to how that's accomplished?
(why a virus would have to write in the registry in the first place is beyond me)
Usually to hide a gazillion triggers to restart / heal itself after at reboot.
They're far, far more likely to be built off CatPicturesScreensaver.exe than from some crazily smart drive-by which is completely undetectable and doesn't do anything... until the doomsday comes.
That's harder to say really.
There is going to be a clear confirmation bias. Like the idea that all criminals are stupid... just watch cops. Yes, LOTS of criminals are stupid. But the ones that are smarter? The ones that don't get caught? Where its not even obvious a crime was ever committed? Can we really say there's more dumb criminals than smart ones based on the fact that we don't see them as much?
I agree with you, but I'm not so sure what the ratio of good unobtrusive stuff to in your face nonsense really is. I concede we're not likely facing 'james bond' grade viruses ... and I think the majority out there is the fast and dirty social engineering to get a toolbar added to your browser... but I think we underestimate the just how prevalent unobtrusive malware might be; simply because by virtue of being unobtrusive we don't even know when were infected.
And for the less technical... they simply would just never know. They'd never complain, because nothing was 'wrong'. Eventually it would get old, replaced, or they'd pay some kid to wipe and refresh it because they were giving it to someone else and they'd be none the wiser that it was ever infected.
I found my parents computer once had been very discretely turned into someone elses "cloud storage". I only stumbled over it by complete fluke. I was troubleshooting something else; and just stumbled over it as there was a lock preventing a folder move or rename or something like that and that and it got me to look deeper.
I can only speculate that I've missed an unknown number of others over the years.