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Websense Forecasts Security Threats for 2008

Websense Inc. on December 5, 2007 released its annual report of security forecasts for 2008 that showed content-based threats on top of the charts.

The report focuses on several areas of emerging threats, like the social networking sites and areas where attacks are based on events. The report identified the 'Olympics' as the most dangerous threat making it a highly lucrative means for malicious-minded users.

Vice-president of security research for Websense, Dan Hubbard, said that considering the current trends in attacks, techniques of cyber criminals are evolving fast and with greater efficiency that not only help to bypass detection but also to steal data from systems, and twist trusted content like applications and websites to the advantage of criminals. Marketwire reported this on December 5, 2007. Hubbard further said that it is most essential for individuals and organizations to understand that attackers have taken to orchestrating targeted attacks.

Websense has predicted that groups of people with special interest and based on a particular age bracket, wealth holdings, or habits of particular consumption will face Web 2.0 attacks. Spam will also increase to divert traffic to malicious websites.

Further, attackers would greatly take advantage of weak areas on the Web to be able to target the maximum possible Internet users.

This year (2007), law enforcement officials worldwide have been addressing Internet-based attacks. Websense expects that international cooperation of law enforcement agencies will help will crack down on a certain hacker group and arrest its key members next year.

A lesson that 2007 threat developments teaches is that the creativity and ability of a malware writer should never be underestimated. As the year has seen a lot of clever strategies that tricked unsuspecting users into clicking malicious e-mail links, a strong prediction for 2008 is that the year will have more of such attacks and with greater potency.

Other important threat predictions by Websense for 2008 are: the number of hacked websites would exceed that of malicious sites, attacks from cross-platform web would increase, JavaScript would be morphed to penetrate anti-virus software, methods to conceal data would increase in sophistication, and voice and vishing spam would merge and rise.

Related article: Websense Discovered Malicious Social Networking Spam Campaign

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