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F-Secure Predicts E-Threats for 2010

Internet security firm F-Secure, during the third week of December 2009, released a list of probable e-threats for 2010.

The list reveals that the market share of Windows 7 will increase in 2010. Conversely, the overall market share of Windows XP will fall below 50%. Consequently, security will be enhanced and easy assaults in wealthy nations will get reduced. However, malicious assaults will shift to countries still using XP, especially developing countries.

Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure, anticipated that cybercriminals will try to find easy targets, reported Forbes.com on December 15, 2009.z
Meanwhile, certain clues prove that there may be less security flaws in the codes of Windows 7 as compared to Windows XP. While the code-base for Windows 7 was available to security researchers and hackers during 2008, merely 9 flaws were discovered in Windows 7 during 2009 as compared to the 137 flaws found in Windows XP. However, that number is likely to change with Windows 7 being increasingly adopted.

Furthermore, F-Secure predicts that with more searches via Bing and Google there'll be changes in Search Engine Optimization attacks that will now occur more frequently. Consequently, people will be increasingly forwarded to fake Internet sites or sites with malware.

Social-networking websites, like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., would be another source of threat, forecasts F-Secure. The company, citing Facebook's case, explains that the number of accounts on the site has increased to 350 Million and there are no signs of the pace receding. This rise in the number of accountholders and the volume of data naturally tempts cyber-criminals to abuse them. The prediction is especially strong as people still don't have a skeptical attitude towards web-links that friends on the social-networking sites forward them, which could lead to increase in fake product-promoting websites or malware infections.

Another interesting field that cyber-criminals will exploit is the FIFA World Cup 2010. Consequently, several Trojans, spam mails, Internet shop hacks, bogus ticket shops, and DDOS assaults will be generated.

Other targets for cybercriminals during 2010 are expected to be mobile Internet exploited with social engineering and online gaming credentials. Internet search results related to geographical locations will also be targeted; consequently location-based assaults will increase.

Related article: F-Secure Alerts against Bogus Windows Update Sites

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