2009 to see more malware on virtualization platforms and mobile devices

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AppRiver published of its year-end spam report, State of Security 2008, and the Threat and Spamscape Forecast for 2009.

According to report author, AppRiver Senior Security Analyst Fred Touchette, 2008 threats focused on duping unaware and uninformed e-mail and Internet users. The most common incidents involved exploitation of either current events, such as phishing schemes attached to oil prices, or malware misrepresenting well-known entities such as McDonald’s or MSNBC.com.

Phishing was one of the most frequently used attack methods this past year. The 2008 report breaks down last year’s phishing attacks into categories, which include a few of the following campaigns:

  • Claim to be a subpoena from a governmental body like the U.S. Tax Court or the IRS that would eventually turn out to be keylogging schemes to steal information,
  • Pose as a Google AdWord account update designed to illegally obtain account data, and
  • Use the classic bank ploy of targeting customers of notable organizations like BanCorp and Wells Fargo.
  • In 2009, Touchette believes that the trend of Web-based malware will continue to increase, and that there will be more malware devised to attack virtualization platforms such as Windows Virtual PC and VMWare. Mobile malware is also expected to grow because of the Apple iPhone’s rising popularity and Google Android’s open source platform. Finally, it is likely that attacks on job search and social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Monster, will continue to rise as job hunters search for employment on the Internet.