Computer threats are continuously evolving, and there is who would even pretend that they did the leap from the machine to man by infecting RFID microchips installed under the skin. But even though they remain a “simple” IT issue, some malicious codes are a problem difficult to tackle because of their inherent complexity and an intelligent design capable of constantly putting security companies under pressure. A remarkable “intelligent” threat is for instance Sality, the new generation file virus that according to Symantec has practically turned into an “all-in-one” malware incorporating botnet-alike functionalities as well.
As previously highlighted, traditional viruses, the ones that nowadays are generally defined as “file viruses” and target executable programs parasitizing and exploiting them as a medium for their propagation, even though reduced to a marginal component of the crowded zoo of beasties making up modern malware aren’t vanished at all. A confirmation of this is the fact that, after the Sality case, new parasitic viruses families have in the past days caught the attention of experts and security firms.
The numbers clearly demonstrate it, nowadays the main threats to computer security are those coming from worms, trojans, backdoors, malicious code categories that have nothing to do with the historical “viruses”. But those digital parasites which travelled from file to file (and from floppy to floppy), hunting for new habitats and new victims to infect still survive today when malware is a business and the worm-based botnets have a scary amount of zombie-PC to use against institutions, firms or the network infrastructures of entire nations.