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Malware increasingly targeting virtual machines as threats evolve

Criminals are working to make sure their malware can target virtual machines, as threats evolve even further.

Published Thu, Aug 14 2014 2:16 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:15 PM CST

Newer generations of malware are finding their way to virtual machines - and instead of fleeing like before - are still executing when on VM. At least 70 percent of companies plan to utilize server virtualization by the end of 2015, so malware reaching the virtual machines could prove problematic.

Malware increasingly targeting virtual machines as threats evolve | TweakTown.com

In a study of 200,000 malware samples, analyzed on both VM and non-VM machines by Symantec, only 18 percent wouldn't operate on a virtual machine.

"The host server, as well as any virtual machine running on it, needs to be protected against malware," said Liam O'Murch, Symantec Security Response researcher, in a statement to SCMagazine. "To achieve this, advanced malware protection with proactive components that go beyond the classical static antivirus scanner needs to be in place. This can be agentless on the hypervisor or in the guest image themselves."

It's not surprising to hear that cybercriminals are looking for techniques to compromise virtual machines. The use of VMs give security researchers the opportunity to study threats - and with businesses largely using VMs - it makes sense to find a way to target them.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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