McAfee Labs 2011 Threat Predictions Report

According to E-Week, security firm McAfee Labs researchers predict that, not surprisingly, criminals will be targeting the latest and most talked about online platforms.  Smartphones, URL shorteners, geolocation services like Foursquare, and Apple products across the board, including Google TV, Apple’s iPhone, will be hot targets in 2011.

McAfee Labs’ 2011 Threat Predictions report said criminals will be exploiting geo-location services, social networking tools, mobile devices and other online platforms. The “marked” increase in malware sophistication is also expected to continue, according to the report which noted major shifts in the threat landscape.  Apple had flown under the malware radar for years, and is now considered a hot target due to its products’ popularity. Criminals will continue to pretty much ignore the smaller Mac market in favor of the larger Windows user base.

Criminals will increase the sophistication of malware taking aim at iPads and iPhones and other mobile platforms. The popularity of these products and the lack of user security awareness surrounding their use will make botnets and Trojans commonon on these plaforms.  Several mobile threats in 2010, such as rootkits for Android and the Zeus banking Trojan/botnet, hint at newer attack trends.

Users are moving away from “slower” e-mail communications to more “immediate” methods such as instant messaging and Twitter, reducing spam levels to record lows.  Spam in URL shorteners are particularly tricky to control, as Facebook found over Christmas.  The social networking site said it blocked all shortened URL links because more than 70 percent of links redirected customers to spam and malicious sites. While the ban has been lifted, Facebook still suggests users exercise caution.

“Personalized attacks are about to get a whole lot more personal,” the researchers wrote.  I believe it.


Mcafee Threat Report