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ESET Forecasts the Cybercrime Landscape for 2010

ESET research team has envisaged the trends in cybercrime and cyber security that are expected to emerge in the current year (2010).

The security vendor foresees that cyber attacks based on social engineering will rise in pervasiveness in the next 12 months. Since OS (Operating Systems) and ultimately applications become more protected, the simplest way to steal money from people or implant malware on their PCs will be to dupe them. This trend will partly be fuelled by the acceptance of Windows 7. The high level of security in Windows 7 will lead to a steady reduction in INF\Autorun and other dangers.

Further, there will be more malicious attacks on other operating systems such as Linux and OS X as they see increasing market shares. This perhaps indicates that more malicious programs will be developed in high level language that can run on several OSes such as python, perl, bash, etc.

ESET predicts that hot issues of general interest like public holidays, latest news (genuine or fictitious), popular events like World Cup 2010, and topics of continuous concern like national as well as world economy will be used as base to launch social engineering attacks in 2010.

Also, third party applications are likely to bear the burden of vulnerability attacks. Improved security in operating systems will keep triggering vulnerability research to several applications including Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, iTunes, Safari, many IM clients, etc. Unluckily, users are less aware about updating the security of third party applications as compared to the operating systems.

Apart from this, scope of data breaches will rise with users store their information in the Cloud. The security of Cloud systems is in its nascent stage. As per ESET researchers, the accumulation of information will make several Cloud service providers favorite targets for attackers in 2010.

Further, there will be more use of rogue software for the purpose of extorting money (ransomware), and the reach of such software is expected to go beyond the reach of rogue security software. In other words, ransomware will outshine fake AVs in 2010.

As per the report, phishing and other related attacks targeting online gamers will also expand. Finally, targeted attacks (spear-phishing and whaling) can also lead to substantial, though underestimated, cyber threat.

Related article: ESET Discusses Malware Writers’ Trend

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