Attacks/Breaches
12/24/2009
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Top 10 Security Challenges For 2010

Cloud-hosted malware, bot blasts, compromised smartphones, and privacy-busting malvertising are a few of the security pitfalls we can expect this year.

3. Hijacking Trusted Sites For Malware

Breach Security sees continued innovation in efforts to compromise trusted sites and load them up with malware. SQL injection attacks have proven to be spectacularly successful so far, so it's unlikely that will change. For cybercriminals, it will almost always make more sense to have a third-party distributing their malware.

Contrarian view: The pointlessness of blogging will finally dawn on people and, in conjunction with a year of dot-com failures and layoffs, there will be fewer people running Web sites. In addition, the shift toward controlled devices -- mobile phones, tablets, and the like -- and the emergence of Chrome OS netbooks will mean less opportunity for user error. Security thus will improve.

4. Macs (Finally) Compromised In Significant Numbers

Security companies have been salivating at the prospect of malware on Macs for years. In 2010, Websense says, we will see a drive-by exploit that affects Safari under Mac OS X and hackers will pay increased attention to the Mac platform.

Symantec is similarly worried about unprotected Mac users who haven't gotten into the habit of paying $30 a year for antivirus software. Other security companies such as Sophos have been saying as much for years. Zscaler believes Apple's increasingly high profile will force the company to invest more in security as its devices come under more sustained attack. It's almost as if security companies want Apple's machines to be insecure.

Contrarian view: The only people running Mac security software are those who have to do so as a matter of regulatory compliance. That won't change until Windows market share drops below 80% and/or Mac market share exceeds 20%. If there is an exploit that affects Macs widely, it will probably be the result of an Adobe Flash vulnerability.

5. More Poisoned Search Results, Malvertising

Exploiting trust works. Cybercriminals will put more effort into taking advantage of trusted Web sites. They will use search engines and advertisements to infect the unprotected. On this there's considerable agreement: AVG, Websense, and M86 all anticipate continued efforts to subvert search results and exploit interest in breaking news and events.

Perhaps 2010 will be the year a cybercriminal creates a fake outbreak story that gets attention and leads interested parties to malicious Web sites that create a real cyber outbreak.

Contrarian view: Google and Microsoft will partner to keep search and advertising relatively safe, knowing full well that they cannot afford to lose the trust of users. Expect a rogue ad network to be brought down with much fanfare.

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