64-Bit Windows Malware to Take Off in 2013 – Security Company

Malware infections expected to develop 64-bit capabilities next year

64-bit versions of Microsoft’s very own Windows operating system are expected to face a new wave of attacks next year, especially from more advanced malware specifically developed for this type of platform.

Security company Trusteer revealed that 64-bit malware is already out there in the wild, but 2013 is very likely to bring a significant increase in this type of attacks, which calls for security companies to boost their efforts to protect 64-bit systems.

Basically, this new form of malware aimed at 64-bit Windows versions is harder to detect, mostly because it comprises support for 64-bit processes running on the target computer.

“In 2012, we began seeing financial malware developing native 64-bit Windows capabilities,” Trusteer explained. “32-bit malware is handicapped when it runs on 64-bit machines. That’s becauethe 32-bit malware cannot see or penetrate the “native” 64-bit system processes it uses to evade detection.”

Security company Sophos, on the other hand, said in a report released a couple of days ago that 2013 is expected to bring a rise in attacks aimed at Mac OS X and Android platforms, as both of them have grown a lot lately and are predicted to do the same next year.

“In 2012, we saw attackers extend their reach to more platforms, from social networks and cloud services to Android mobile devices. We saw them respond to new security research findings more rapidly, and leverage zero-day exploits more effectively,” Sophos said in the report.

The number of attacks aimed at Windows is thus likely to drop a little bit next year, as hackers may very well focus on other platforms. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Windows users will be on the safe side all the time, Sophos warned.

“Security really is about more than Microsoft. The PC remains the biggest target for malicious code today, yet criminals have created effective fake antivirus attacks for the Mac.”

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