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Palo Alto Networks Research Shows Real-Time Apps And FTP Are Preferred Targets For Malware

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Palo Alto Networks™ (NYSE: PANW), the network security company, today announced its inaugural publication of the Modern Malware Review, an analysis of new and evasive malware in live enterprise networks.  The review's findings show that traditional antivirus solutions are not identifying the vast majority of malware infecting networks via real-time applications such as web browsing.  The Modern Malware Review is the first industry report to examine the behavior of unknown malware throughout its entire lifecycle, beginning when it enters the network, how it behaves once it is on the infected device and finally the outgoing traffic it generates.  Key findings include:

  • 94 percent of the fully undetected malware found on networks was delivered via web browsing or web proxies. 
  • 70 percent of malware left identifiers in their traffic or payload that can be used by security teams for detection.
  • 40 percent of seemingly unique malware are actually repackaged versions of the same code.
  • FTP is a highly-effective method for introducing malware to a network.  95 percent of malware delivered via FTP went undetected by antivirus solutions for more than 30 days.
  • Modern malware is highly adept at remaining undetected on a host device.  The review identified 30 different techniques for evading security and more than half of all malware behaviors were focused on remaining undetected.

"It's not enough to simply detect malware out there that is evading traditional security. Enterprises should come to expect more comprehensive prevention from their vendors," said Wade Williamson, senior research analyst, Palo Alto Networks. "That's what the Modern Malware Review is signaling – analyzing undetected malware in real networks has enabled us to arm IT security teams with actionable information for reducing their exposure against threats they might have otherwise missed."

The review provides recommended policies that can help security managers better protect their networks against malware attacks.  For example, by knowing that the majority of malware is simply relocated and repackaged versions of the same code, such as Zeus botnets, security teams can use a variety of indicators to identify it and create security policies that can automatically block it.

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