Feeds

Adobe predicted as top 2010 hacker target

McAfee's crystal ball also reveals Google Chrome dangers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Adobe will overtake Microsoft as the primary target for hackers and virus writers in 2010, net-security firm McAfee predicts.

Attacks targeting vulnerabilities in Acrobat Reader and Flash are already commonplace, driven in part by that software's widespread use. The often-tricky update process and lack of user awareness that apps as well as browsers and Windows need updating further compounds the problem of PDF-based malware - which McAfee reckons will only increase next year.

The security firm also predicts an increase in the severity and power of hacking attacks aimed at users of social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook. Mystic McAfee also predicts that banking Trojans will become even more sophisticated, perhaps by gaining the ability to interrupt legitimate transactions and make unauthorised withdrawals without being detected. Malware in email attachments, a common ploy in targeted attacks, is also expected to increase.

Meanwhile, botnets - the main currency of cyberattacks - are likely to move further away from reliance on command and control servers towards a peer-to-peer architecture that's more resilient against takedown efforts.

All these predictions more or less follow on from current trends. The one new highlight in McAfee's threat report is the prediction that HTML5 will give "cybercriminals new opportunities to write malware and prey on users." The upcoming web mark-up technology is meant to reduce reliance on proprietary browser plug-ins for Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and Sun Java. The standard is still a work-in-progress, but elements of the technology are already supported by Google Chrome, a fact that could spawn a new line of hacking attacks, McAfee warns:

HTML 5 holds all the promises that today’s web community seeks - primarily that of blurring and removing the lines between a web application and a desktop application. HTML5-based attacks will become even more tempting once the Google Chrome Operating System is released. (It’s scheduled for second half of 2010.)

Google Chrome OS is intended for use with netbooks, and HTML5 enables not only a rich Internet experience, but also offline applications. Another motivation for attackers is HTML5’s anticipated cross-platform support, which will allow attackers to eventually reach users of many mainstream browsers.

McAfee's 2010 Threat Predictions report can be downloaded here as an un-Firefox friendly PDF. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.