Why So…… Sad? No Why NOT so Innovative?

December 31, 2008


So is innovation dead in Malware development?  I have been perplexed at the lack of innovation with regards to Internet level hacks/events that have occured over the past years.  I think Money and the crime angle has certainly been a distraction.  Most innovative ideas that Im thinking of have more of an Offensive Cyberwar aspect to them vice  a espionage (read stealth) or infostealing (crime) or propagation (read worm/spam).  If your not following me let me try and explain.  When was the last time you have heard of a really interesting Internet event (by this I mean an event that impacts Large sections of the net) does something totally wack, and has a large impact. 

I would call this as something so unique its a singularity.  They advent of mobile malicious code (IE a worm) I would consider a singularity that changed the whole game.  The advent of the buffer overflow another, the advent of remote control (trojans – Lets hear it for BO woot!) and the advent of P2P decentralized networks, and double fast flux networks, as well as the advent of Software armoring andpolymorphism.  All of these factors dramatically changed the playing field and force everyone else to adapt to new rules of engagement.   But I digress.

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Let me shoot out some memes that I have NOT seen or heard about and ponder why?

Why isn’t there whistleblower malware?  That would be pretty bad ass.  Think of a piece of code that seeds the net with information that is senstive to achieve a certain effect.  Could be a sensitive document, could be a database export.  One piece of malware that did this was Nimda which mailed random documents from your My Documents folder to your entire email list.  Now that was cool.  Businesses failed and people got arrested or divorced over that type of stuff.  Pretty crazy.  The goal of whistleblower malware would be some type of enforcement of social justice.

Ive also wonder about why malware doesnt use database tools to dump databases and post them to P2P networks where they would be rapidly replicated.  Once something goes P2P there is no way to retrieve it.  (Think about celebrity sex vids)  Do you really think Paris Hilton could have put her cooch pix back in the genies bottle once they got out to the net?

I dont advocate stealing of data for destructive effect, In this blub I am just wondering why I have not seen malware that targets Databases more effectively.  Why is it always credit card databases that are stolen and not the Bazzillions of other interesting databases that exist out there with much more important data in them.   One hypothesis is once again the crime angle distraction.  The other is that most hackers are just one technology ponies and couldnt scratch their way around a database even if they tried.    Illustrates how an effective attack organization would have to highly skilled and multi-disciplined to be useful.

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