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Symantec Lists Security Trends for 2008

Online security giant Symantec has drawn a list of possible security trends to watch out for in 2008.

The primary targets would be "election campaigns". As political contenders increasingly turn to the Internet for their promotion and campaigning, it becomes imperative for them to understand the related security risks. It can range from diversion of donations generated through online campaigns to distribution of misinformation. There can also be an invasion of privacy, leading to online fraud and phishing.

Symantec claims that its analysis of domain names of 17 popular candidates for the 2008 US elections found numerous other similar sounding domain names that were registered by other parties and not the campaigners of the candidate. These websites are created to divert traffic towards advertising websites.

Symantec reveals that 'bots' are highly likely to branch out and advance in their work-pattern. For example, users might soon see bot zombies hosting phishing sites.

Bots are the base for "early adopters" to test new functionalities in controlled environs, which are later used to launch new malicious functionalities on different targets before deploying them for widespread use.

As per Symantec, bots might cause phishing attacks from the client's side against the genuine users of an infected computer. This route would arm phishers to hoodwink typical phishing protection systems and eradicate their dependence on a website which could be pulled down once detected.

Symantec considers that web services are expected to shoot up. Simultaneously, as web-browsers increasingly converge towards a uniform scripting language, like JavaScript, the incidences of new web-based risks would increase too.

User-created services can also host malicious browser exploits. They would unsuspectingly distribute spyware, malware, unwanted ads (splogs), or have links to malevolent websites.

Symantec projects an increase in spam and a pop spam culture might be in the offing. spammers will focus on making appealing content for readers. They will capitalize on highly sought after current events like presidential campaigns, economy trends and popular fads, according to Symantec.

With Persistent Virtual Worlds (PVWs) and massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) expanding their reach, users would soon see cyber criminals working jointly to create malicious exploits.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

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