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10:35 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell

2010 Cybercrime Goals: Symantec

What do cybercrooks want next year? According to Symantec Hosted Services, they want bigger and badder botnets, pathways through CAPTCHA traps, local language spam and plenty of hooks as good as Michael Jackson and Tiger Woods.

What do cybercrooks want next year? According to Symantec Hosted Services, they want bigger and badder botnets, pathways through CAPTCHA traps, local language spam and plenty of hooks as good as Michael Jackson and Tiger Woods.Symantec Hosted Services' look at the 2010 cybercime wish-list sheds some familiar but worthwhile light on the trends the crooks are likeliest to be applying themselves to exploiting:

Botnets: Currently, the company says, the top ten botnets generate more than 80% of the world's spam. With five million computers under their control with these ten nets alone, the botmasters are undoubtedly going to be seeking to extend their reach.

CAPTCHA: The human-entry required filters are getting more complex, forcing the CAPTCHA-crackers to pursue equally complex bypass strategems.

The Next Tiger Woods: Pop culture remains a leading source of spam subjects; while it's unlikely that we'll see another Tiger Woods meltdown or Michael Jackson fadeout, the crooks will be on the lookout for the Next Big Thing, betting on the hunger for consumer gossip to click more pigeons to their coop.

Social Net Tech Evolution: 2009 saw shortened urls become popular with users, which made them popular with crooks. Watch other social net and user trends to see where the crooks will be making some of their moves next.

Talk The Talk The Locals Talk: Local language spam drives local language spam success, with auto-translate helping the crooks reach out in the vernacular. German spam rates, for instance, have risen 13% this year. Sprechen sie Spam?

And of course there will be the crime trends that are not anticipated -- the ones that will emerge and capture both attention and cash. Those are the ones to watch most carefully -- if only we knew what they're going to be!

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