Saturday, January 23, 2010

Attacks from file-sharing networks to escalate

IT security company, which said that it accurately predicted the rise in global epidemics in 2009, has forecast that the new year will be dominated by six trends that will continue to post challenges to consumers and security firms. Russia-based Kaspersky Lab said it was right on the dot when it predicted that infectious programs would emerge in 2009. True enough, it said, sophisticated malicious programs with rootkit functionality, Conficker, web attacks and botnets, SMS fraud, and attacks on social networks made headlines in the past year. Roel Schouwenberg, senior malware researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said in a statement that malware will further become sophisticated in 2010. “Third party program vulnerabilities will continue to be the target of choice by cybercriminals with Adobe continuing to be the main target. And finally I believe that with the introduction of real-time search, black hat SEO and social networks will become an even bigger focus of cybercriminals,” he said. For 2010, researchers and analysts from Kaspersky Lab came up with a list of six predictions which they said will be the year’s greatest threats and newest attack vectors: 1. A rise in attacks originating from file-sharing networks. Kaspersky Lab said this year will see a shift in the types of attacks on users, from attacks via websites and applications toward attacks originating from file-sharing networks. 2. An increase in mass malware epidemics via P2P networks. The security firm said that in 2009, a series of mass malware epidemics was “supported” by malicious files that spread via file sharing networks such as TDSS and Virut as well as the first backdoor virus for Mac OS X. 3. Continuous competition for traffic from cybercriminals. Kaspersky said it foresees the emergence of more “grey” schemes in the botnet services market. These so-called “partner programs,” it said, enable botnet owners to make a profit from activities such as sending spam, performing denial of service (DoS) attacks, or distributing malware without committing an explicit crime. 4. A decline in fake anti-virus programs. The decline in gaming Trojans witnessed in 2009 is likely to be repeated for fake anti-virus programs in 2010, Kaspersky said. The fake anti-virus market has now been saturated and the profits for cybercriminals have fallen, it noted. 5. An interest in attacking Google Wave. Attacks on this new Google service, it said, will no doubt follow the usual pattern: first, the sending of spam, followed by phishing attacks, then the exploiting of vulnerabilities and the spreading of malware. 6. An increase in attacks on iPhone and Android mobile platforms. Kaspersky Lab said the first malicious programs for these mobile platforms appeared in 2009, a sure sign that they have aroused the interest of cybercriminals. The increasing popularity of mobile phones running the Android OS combined with a lack of effective checks to ensure third-party software applications are secure, will lead to a number of high-profile malware outbreaks, it said.

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