Social Networking Sites At Risk

A new report by security software specialist says social networking and banking sites will be hit hard in 2010

Security software McAfee Labs foresees an increase in threats related to social networking sites, banking security, and botnets, as well as attacks targeting users, businesses, and applications, according to its 2010 Threat Predictions.

Other threats include:

  • HTML 5 will blur the line between desktop and online applications. This, along with the release of Google Chrome OS, will create another opportunity for malware writers to prey on users.
  • Email attachments have delivered malware for years, yet the increasing number of attacks targeted at corporations, journalists, and individual users often fool them into downloading Trojans and other malware.
  • They anticipate Adobe software, especially Acrobat Reader and Flash, will take the top spot of software targetted.
  • Banking Trojans will become more clever, sometimes interrupting a legitimate transaction to make an unauthorized withdrawal.

Botnets are the leading infrastructure for cybercriminals, used for actions from spamming to identity theft. Recent successes in shutting down botnets will force their controllers to switch to alternate, less vulnerable methods of command, including peer-to-peer setups.

With regard to software, McAfee says that “The favorite vector among attackers is Adobe products, primarily Flash and Acrobat Reader. Using reliable ‘heap spray–like’ and other exploitation techniques, malware writers have turned Adobe apps into a hot target. Further, Flash and Reader are among the most widely deployed applications in the world,4 which provides a higher return on investment to cybercriminals. Based on the current trends, we expect that in 2010 Adobe product exploitation is likely to surpass that of Microsoft Office applications in the number of desktop PCs being attacked.”