As more people become accustomed to Web surfing and downloading software and multimedia, legitimate Web sites have become the favorite targets of hackers.
'The hacking of legitimate Web sites is the biggest threat today,' said David Freer, Symantec's vice president for consumer business in Asia-Pacific and Japan.
Freer revealed that based on the latest Threat Landscape study made by Norton (Symantec's manufacturer of security solutions), the Web is emerging as the preferred platform for security attacks and no longer just the users' PCs.
'The threat landscape is driven by consumer behavior,' Freer said, explaining that since people are accustomed to viewing and downloading multimedia online, many hackers use this to trick users into installing fake codes and setting up applications.
'The exploits focus on Web browser and plug-in vulnerabilities, but attacks based on trickery are emerging as the dominant tactic,' he said. 'This means more attacks will be language and service-specific.'
Norton observes that attackers focus heavily on finding Web site flaws since it is much easier than 'traditional' vulnerability; and that research and patch times are much lower -- only 4% of the vulnerabilities for the second half of 2007 were patched as of March 2008.
'We observe 10,000 unique attacking domains (Web sites) daily and 1,500 of these have not been seen attacking users previously,' Freer said.
Yet the big picture, he added, involves not only identity theft but more on 'online storage, family safety, and services.' As a solution, Symantec launched on Tuesday what it claims to be Norton's fastest and lightest products when it comes to resources and protection, backed up even by free support.
Riding on a 2009 Porsche Cayman S sports car, Freer, along with other Symantec executives arrived at Tuesday's media conference at the Sepang International Circuit here, the home of grand prix venues, and formally launched three Norton 2009 products--Norton Internet Security, Norton Anti-Virus, and Norton 360.
Freer, along with Symantec executives Josephine Gibney, senior product manager, Norton Internet Security, global; David Hall, regional product marketing manager, AP; and Effendy Ibrahim, Norton business lead, Asia south region, claimed that the Norton 2009 products were designed with a 'zero-impact' performance goal, supported by more than 300 improvements.
The executives explained the Norton 2009 products address the big picture of the new line of attacks. For example, the Norton 360 has the SwapDrive Acquisition with petabytes of data already stored. Its online storage allows for access to a user's data anywhere. Ibrahim reported there is strong adoption of online backup in Norton 360 with 30,000 new backups and around 500 million people backing up.
Meanwhile, Hall shared there are 17 million registered members of the Norton community and with about 50 million participating in it.