Some Malware Just Wants to Watch the World Burn

To summarize Costin Raiu, the director of Kaspersky Lab’s research arm, the vast majority of malicious files are what he calls crimeware — computer programs deployed by cybercriminals seeking to make a profit by stealing credentials, data, resources, or money directly. The second most prevalent category of malicious software is designed exclusively for cyber-espionage and is used by a variety of advanced threat actors – often with state, corporate, or other deep-pocketed benefactors. Then there is a third, much smaller category of purely destructive malware – sometimes called wipers.

As it turns out, early malware was almost entirely destructive in nature. In the late nineties the Internet was not the vast storage place for valuable data that it is today. In addition to that, organized criminals had yet to see the hard financial value in what was – at the time – easily accessible information. Thus, somewhat like modern ransomware, early hackers designed malware that encrypted hard-drives or corrupted machine data in other ways. There was a playful mischievousness to these early trojans and the people developing them. As far as I know, money was not a significant incentive among early malware-authors.

Destructive, wiper-type malware never really went away, but it’s definitely been revitalized with new fervor purpose in the murky age of alleged nation-to-nation and nation-to-corporation attacks.

In fact, in the last three years, our friends at Securelist have examined no less than five separate wiper-style attacks.

via Some Malware Just Wants to Watch the World Burn | We use words to save the world | Kaspersky Lab Official Blog.

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