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CA Predicts Online Threats & Methods of Attack in 2008

The new Internet Security Outlook Report by Computer Associates Inc. (CA) released on January 15, 2008 warns in advance that social networks, online gamers and events of high profile like the Beijing Olympics and the US presidential election are some of the greatest possible targets for hackers this year.

According to security experts at CA, botnets are set to dominate online threats during 2008 unlike what the 2007 trends showed when spyware was the dominant threat while trojans overwhelmed the previous years. In an attempt to get more difficult for detection, bot gatherers are shifting to newer tactics and distributing operations down the hierarchy of peer-to-peer structures, and using more of Instant Messaging (IM) as the vector to propagate their botnets.

Vice President. CA's Internet Security Business Unit, Brian Grayek, said that cyber criminals reach all places where they find opportunities and exploit all kinds of vulnerability on the web. Also, with improved security protection capable of detecting malicious programs, online fraudsters are becoming smarter and treacherous in their methods of attacking computers. Tradingmarket published this on January 15, 2008.

The security company also indicated that sophistication levels in malware are reaching newer heights. It predicts that such malware would aim at virtualized computers, with greater use of stupefying techniques in order be out of sight. Such techniques would include steganography in which hidden messages are written in a manner that no third party other than the sender and the intended recipient can view them; and encryption that locks the message, realizable only to the specified party. Cyber criminals would therefore use these to hide their activities.

According to CA, existing malware is gradually evolving from cottage industry information to full-form businesses of fraud on the Internet. Such businesses are so developed that they are even operating with practices and procedures similar to legitimate organizations. Hence, users' attitude towards protecting their privacy on the Internet and the actions they perform there could dramatically change their online security.

Also, gamers are becoming precious targets for hackers and capturing their account information is still the main objective of criminals on the Internet, says the security company.

Related article: CA Canada Found Alarming Facts About Corporate Data Loss

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