ShutterstockIf January is anything to go by, then 2013 should be another doozy of a year for malware-plagued businesses. The year started off with the exploitation of a previously unknown Java vulnerability — a spot-on example of why malware attackers are so successful these days.

The assault put millions of Java users at risk, as in many recent malware attacks, by taking advantage of flaws in a popular client-side application. In this case, it was Java’s browser plug-in. But attackers often target other plug-ins, such as Flash, and document applications like Word and Adobe Reader. The January Java attack used a zero-day exploit, in which previously unknown vulnerabilities are targeted. Zero-day exploits are effective because victims wouldn’t have patched to block them or spotted them via antivirus signatures, the digital fingerprints of known malware variants used to blacklist malware.

The Java attack let attackers gain control of vulnerable endpoints, potentially allowing them to launch attacks into any connected networks or simply to add infected devices to botnets that could be used to launch other attacks. Like so many malware attacks, this one was delivered using automated crimeware kits that let less skilled criminals infect websites with malicious code that automatically downloads from a website onto a visitor’s machine.

Malware: The Next Generation | DFI News.

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