"Destructive payloads in malware have become rare because attackers prefer to take control of their victims' computers for financial gain or to steal intellectual property," McAfee Labs says. "Recently, however, we have seen several attacks-some apparently targeted, others implemented as worms-in which the only goal was to cause as much damage as possible. We expect this malicious behavior to grow in 2013."
"Whether this is hacktivism taken to a new level, as some claim, or just malicious intent is impossible to say, but the worrying fact is that companies appear to be rather vulnerable to such attacks," McAfee adds. "As with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, the technical bar for the hackers to hurdle is rather low. If attackers can install destructive malware on a large number of machines, then the result can be devastating."
Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for CIO.com. Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Thor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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