"In modern systems there are too many types of executable files, programs that can access the components of the computer. It is also very complicated a system that does not have problems, including security holes. Therefore, I believe that viruses will continue to exist even if the environment provides security based on digital certificates. It is possible to develop an environment completely protected by the verification of digital signatures, but users do not use, because such an environment is not sufficiently friendly. too many restrictions, too many warnings, too many questions." Eugene Kaspersky.
The vast majority of viral infections now are due to infections by worms (programs that are transmitted across networks and the Internet) and Trojans (which tend to implement actions hidden and undesirable) made mostly of times through the mail electronic. These viruses are activated by implementing the e-mail attachments or simply by reading mails received with malicious code in HTML.
There is a possibility that in the future emergence of new viruses like Nimda or to the Klez, which may take advantage of existing vulnerabilities or arriving at the show. Education and awareness strategies based on adequate security is the only way to prevent possible damage. A possible collapse of the Internet (due to traffic congestion, caused by viruses) does not have much support in advance, because their limits rather than technological tend to be rather cultural and faced with a situation of this nature are still elements to prevent it.
Today, given the sophisticated are these programs, one of them has a feature not ask anything their ancestors, thus forming the leading cause of the havoc caused. The Nimda worm (which came as a Trojan horse and destroys the system as a virus) and the Klez we open a whole range of possibilities and unexpected surprises that put shake our protection schemes classics.
Viruses, Trojans and worms have existed since the beginnings of the current operating systems and Internet. The contest "virus - antivirus" already has its two decades and nothing indicates that we will finish. It can not be excluded, for example, that in the near future viruses attack programmable cell phones and will spread if they come across any link opened between two devices. The main route of infection, as happens today with computers, will e-mail, which is already available in the world of mobile telephony.
This remarkable, viruses of the future will not only white but in computers and servers that are designed to attack smart cell phones and personal digital assistants. These malicious code is expected (this is only conjecture or a scenario very much in the style of Jules Verne) that could even reach record conversations and send them via email to other users without consent of the owner of the apparatus, removing or altering financial statements stored in cell phones, or even change the telephone numbers contained in the memory of these devices and replace them with other long distance numbers, in order to generate bills and debits of enormous proportions.
Moreover, it is not unreasonable (not, at least entirely) that the wars of the near future between developed countries will take place between two computer networks, stock exchanges and financial markets are interconnected, among unmanned spacecraft and satellites. In fact, while capitalism will prevail and we reach this situation, conventional weapons are only used to come with underdeveloped countries.
Looking a bit into the future and we believe in home automation (control buildings, houses, etc., through hardware and software), and we see the introduction of Internet in our domestic life. In fact, some operators of satellite television and proclaim the availability of the Internet through television. So perhaps shortly, together with our television have to buy some kind of antivirus device. And not only think on television, as other household appliances will also be achieved by the long tentacles of the Internet.
The future promises us more and more sophisticated viruses, so far, 2002 has already reached the figure was at the close of 2001. Some possible trends can be as follows:
- Great increase in the number of viruses, worms or backdoors. The frequency as they become overwhelming with new variants of malware (malicious code) predisposes us to maintain a consistent policy and appropriate updates. In choosing an antivirus software has to take into account the ability to update and speed of response laboratories companies, as well as the capabilities heuristics (detection of possible new viruses) that have integrated these products.
- Java and activities. Both of these components are presumably of safety mechanisms to prevent the spread of viruses but have some holes (not a panacea, because if so, Windows XP would be a truly messianic promise). The security ActiveX that can only run authenticated code. That's better than nothing but still leaves much to be desired, you can not bet to authenticate is an absolute guarantee or infallible.
- More connectivity. The demand for greater breadth of banda increases with increasing information flow. A greater exchange of information, greater exchange of all kinds of programs or files including various worms that emerge.
- Language macro most powerful, universal and manageable. The software manufacturers include ever more powerful macro languages and simple to use but in return, more vulnerable to attacks or incorporation of codes do not necessarily benevolent. Apparently macro viruses which are no longer dominate the scene, but could well go together in cyberspace worms increasingly powerful (in fact Melissa gave us a breakthrough in situations of this kind) and thus strengthen its presence novelty.
- More destructive viruses. The source of the CIH virus (capable of in certain circumstances override the BIOS and let the machine totally irrelevant), the most diverse kits creation of viruses are available to the entire world on the Internet. This information encourages other programmers to generate other viruses, and even genuine fans to feel fresh with children in the simple act of playing with these things.
This leads us to believe (without much fear of error) that the future of the virus is mainly in the sound development of heuristics, and in integrating them into a stronger structure that provides software for antivirus, firewall, detectors Intrusion and authentication as a single product.