Rising security threats from mobile, social networks

Staff Writer
04 Jan 2010
  • Windows 7 will gain market share during 2010. Windows XP will drop below 50% market share overall and will thus reduce the amount of "low hanging fruit." This will improve Internet security in affluent countries and it will perhaps begin to create malware ghettos in less affluent countries as cyber-criminals concentrate their efforts on the remaining installed base of Windows XP. Whether attackers continue to focus on Microsoft Windows alone or whether they diversify to include OSX and mobile platforms remains to be seen.
  • Real-time support in search engines such as Google and Bing will affect the frequency and manner of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) attacks.
  • The 2010 FIFA World Cup will generate a good number of related trojans, fake ticket shops, spam, online shop hacking, and DDoS attacks. There could already be SEO attacks months before the matches actually take place in June. South Africa's mobile phone networks will be a hotbed of activity during the games.
  • Web search results leading to "location based attacks" using geo-location IP address techniques will increase. They will be localized in terms of language, current news events, and even regional banks that they target.
  • There will be more attacks against online banks with tailor-made trojans. There will be more iPhone attacks, possibly also proof-of-concept attacks on Android and Maemo. We could also see a 0-day vulnerability used in a large scale exploit.
  • More snowshoe spamming. Snowshoe spamming is a technique used by spammers to spread spam output across many IPs and domains, in order to dilute reputation metrics and evade filters, just like a snowshoe spreads the load of a traveler across a wide area of snow.
  • At least one large-scale DDoS attack against a nation-state is likely.

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