According to Symantec Malaysia, the biggest security issues faced in the country during 2007 were from spam and virtualisation.
- Spam — Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report Vol XII reported that 77 per cent of total spam in Asia Pacific & Japan originated in Malaysia. Globally, spam reached new record levels this year. Image spam declined while PDF spam emerged. Greeting-card spam was also responsible for delivering Storm Worm malware (also known as Peacomm). Spam was on a steady decline until it rebounded in June, and steadily climbed through the end of the year, hitting an all-time high of 70.5 per cent in October.
- Virtual machine security implications — Businesses have increasingly adopted virtualisation technology to maximise hardware usage, increase scalability and lower total cost.
Symantec has found some key potential vulnerabilities of virtualisation technology:
- Escape from virtualised environments — In a worst case scenario, a threat may utilise a vulnerability in a guest operating system to break out and attack the host operating system.
- Use of virtualisation by malicious code — This is considered one of the most advanced Rootkit methods. Research projects such as SubVirt, BluePill and Vitriol demonstrate how this might be achieved.
- Detection of virtualised environments — Software virtual machines are relatively easy to detect. Malicious code may use this knowledge to exploit a known vulnerability in the virtual environment.
- Denial of service — Attackers can crash the Virtual Machine Monitor (a software) or a component of it, leading to a complete or partial denial of service.
CW Malaysia here