Security researchers from Trend Micro are calling for a new classification system for malware that is more focused on the economical impact rather than the technical details of the malware.

The article at TechWorld states that:

Take the term “virus.” The proper definition of virus is a piece of software that replicates or makes copies of itself and attaches itself to other pieces of software. But for non-security professionals, it’s “taken to mean the universal indication that there is something wrong with their computer, no matter what the cause,” Perry said. Toss in relatively newer terms such as “Trojan horse,” “dialer” and “adware” and the situation becomes a mix of confusing vocabulary.

David Perry, the Global Director of Education for Trend Micro, and Anthony Arrott in their paper New approaches to categorizing economically-motivated digital threats, suggest using a number of other factors to classify malware, such as the method by which the malware spreads, the way it installs on a system, the way it causes economical loss, or how it hides from detection.

They believe that a more organized and less fractured taxonomy will help security firms more aggressively target the spread of numerous variants of malware.

Automatic malware classification (eWeek) is core to any anti-malware policy, and with more systems having greater integration with the Web, there is a bigger threat to the security of enterprises and home users than ever.

Is it high time that a standardized framework was developed around classifying and resolving the increasing mutations of malware?