Virus Bulletin 2010: Kaspersky: mobile malware is good business

06 Oct 2010

Virus Bulletin 2010 happened in Vancouver Sept 29 - Oct 1, 2010. I didn't go, but I'm reading up on what happened. Pretty much all the big players in AV go to this and present, including Kaspersky, McAfee, Symantec, Panda, Sophos, Trend Micro, Microsoft, Avast, BitDefender, ESET, Norman, G DATA, and others. It looks like half the presentations were from Kaspersky, and they've posted up most of their slides on their site. Virus Bulletin has yet to post the other presentations.

The only really interesting point I saw made in Kaspersky's presentations was in "Russian cybercriminals on the move: Profiting from mobile malware" by Denis Maslennikov. Talks about SMS trojans for phones that contact premium numbers and one was making $850,000 US / month. Considering most presentation state that malware developers and others involved make at best $50K/year, this is a BIG incentive for people to get into mobile malware. Also, I would assume that the devices probably have more flaws for you to get at and not much AV software, so that might offset the steeper learning curve, higher cost of entry, and the fact that the market changes faster than going after Windows boxes, but for $10.2 million / year, I'm sure a lot of people could be convinced to make a try for it.