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Trend Micro Forecasts Threats for 2009

Security company Trend Micro while giving its forecasts on Internet threats in 2009 stated that the year 2008 was a period of botnet advancement as an astounding 34.4 Million PCs were infected from January to November that year.

Further, as botnet activity escalated, levels of spam distribution also rose. About 115 Billion e-mails were spammed every day, up from 75 Billion per day during 2005. With respect to bots in 2009, Trend Micro forecasts that 3G botnets would emanate, spreading malicious software specifically against 3G modes of communication.

Additionally, the Trend Micro report indicates that the global economic meltdown would significantly influence the direction of cyber crime in 2009. Examining the threat situation in 2008, it appears that a number of notable threats would continue in 2009 as well.

Furthermore, with the second month of 2009 already in, Trend Micro observes that cyber criminals such as malware authors, spammers and bot-herders have already started recruiting willing, jobless IT professionals to aid in cracking the CAPTCHA system.

According to Trend Micro, businesses would increasingly fold into acquisitions or mergers as recession continues to deepen which will increase the unemployment of highly-proficient people. These unemployed are looking to earn quick money; thereby, increasing the possibilities of bot-herding, spamming, phishing and hacking.

For 2009, the security company also forecasts a growth in malicious programs specifically aimed at Web 2.0 technologies, features and culture, with a rise in the general complexity of malware. Online criminals would begin using Web browsers and similar applications as well as bountiful media players for the distribution of their malware.

Meanwhile, trust among users of social networking sites has helped in increasing socially engineered frauds such as phishing scams at the end of 2008, according to Trend Micro.

Therefore, the company believes this activity would continue through 2009, with miscreants compromising user accounts and using them to send fraudulent e-mails to associated friends. Such e-mails would directly infect, socially engineer or hijack information and/or money off the victims. Clearly, the company expects more of phishing frauds during 2009 involving social networking sites.

Related article: Trend Micro Detects Spam Mail Declaring World War III

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