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Vulnerabilities / Threats

12/31/2008
12:26 PM
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Four Threats For '09 That You've Probably Never Heard Of (Or Thought About)

What could keep you up at night in the new year may not be what you expect -- a look at some of the lesser-known threats predicted for 2009

Attacks on online ad revenue

One casualty of the jump in Web attacks and threats could be Internet ads, as enterprises and users increasingly begin to deploy technologies that block third-party content. ScanSafe says that the volume of Web-borne malware is growing at a rate of 6 percent a month, and the rate that a user is exposed to this malware is increasing at a rate of 16 percent per month, a result of the wave of infections of legitimate Websites in the last year.

"That's a legitimate threat," Perimeter eSecurity's Prince says. "We've seen bad guys target Google AdWords. We've seen them inject iFrames for SQL injection attacks or other things inside ads on Websites."

To date, however, users are mainly blocking pop-ups rather than legitimate ads, he says.

But attackers could wreak havoc on online ads and their potential revenue by compromising the ad's source, for instance, he says. "If they can compromise the source of an ad" they could compromise the systems as well, he says.

Whether malware attacks translate into more ad blocking and fewer ads is unclear. Either way, the economy is likely to hit online advertising: "Revenues for ads are going to go down on Net next year, but that's more tied to the economy," Prince says.

Next: Human casualties Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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