Malware Authors can be, but are not always, a very specialized type of attacker that could either be independent or working for an organization. These talented developers of malware are able to develop the malware that botnets utilize, complex tools such as rootkits, and other similarly put together tools. There are other sources of malware. The source of much of the malware that is loose in the wild is in variations that are created from already made sources.
Where Does the Malware Hide and How can it be Found?
One of the biggest goals for a malware author is to stay unfound. Back in the day, the malware was just another process running on the machine. In a lot of scenarios, it tries to disguise itself as a known process. It can be obvious when one discovers a process running that is vastly different than it normally does, there is something wrong. Malware has become even more sophisticated throughout the years. Occasionally, malware is able to infect the kernel and stop files and directories from being shown at all. In an effort to avoid virus scanners, some malware will even hide in already existing processes and not write anything to disk.
A big challenge for people trying to find the malware is discovering the different ways to find it. Does the malware change any settings that can be noticed? Is there a way to find the malware by making up a specific directory and checking if to see if it exists? Malware that seeks refuge in directories or files may hide in files created by the user as well. The malware may be detectable by viewing memory dumps of the many processes on the system to see if there is anything out of the ordinary. The methods stated above may seem like a lot of work, but in some cases, they are the only way to discover the malware in action.
Malware authors often use techniques such as anti-reverse engineering and anti-debugging to halt or disrupt any detailed analysis, helping them to avoid detection by some of the most advanced security programs. These efforts increase the chances that their efforts that their attack on an organization will be successful and that they will stay hidden from them for long periods of time. Making sure one is prepared in knowing how to combat these measures are key.
In the end, malware authors are nothing to sneeze at. They need to be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. There are things one can do to make sure they are educated and ready. Malware authors are smart and sneaky. They know what they are doing. If one is unequipped to handle it themselves, it would be wise to contact someone who will be able to help out along the way. No one wants their system to become jeopardized because they did not take the threat seriously enough. Go out, get educated, and take out those malware authors.