Skip to main content

Symantec Report Highlights The Rise Of ‘Virus Toolkits’

According to a report published by Symantec, a wide number of web threats are being caused by so-called ‘Virus Toolkits’.

Symantec reports (opens in new tab) that the toolkits in question are created by experienced hackers and allow any web user to spread viruses or malware across the Internet. The sophistication of many of these kits lets users easily evade detection from anti-virus software.

One such toolkit that Symantec detailed, called ZeuS, allows users to exploit the limited security safeguards of small businesses to steal bank account details. One gang of online criminals used ZeuS to steal over $70 million from online bank accounts and trading accounts in 18 months.

Kits like ZeuS are sold on a subscription based-model online, allowing the creators to provide frequent updates and additional components.

“In the past, hackers had to create their own threats from scratch. This complex process limited the number of attackers to a small pool of highly skilled cybercriminals,” said Stephen Trilling, senior vice president, Symantec Security Technology and Response.

“Today’s attack toolkits make it relatively easy for even a malicious novice to launch a cyberattack. As a result, we expect to see even more criminal activity in this area and a higher likelihood that the average user will be victimised.”