Hackers to target personal data with custom malware

AppRiver released its year-end spam and virus report.

  • Phishing remained a consistent threat with several campaigns targeting social networking sites and mimicking major banks, as well as the Internal Revenue Service, to dupe consumers at tax time
  • Spammers exploited major current events such as the H1N1 flu outbreak and Michael Jackson’s death
  • Data breaches rocked Heartland and Countrywide
  • Botnets like Conficker and Waledac made frequent headlines.

In 2010, AppRiver Senior Security Analyst Fred Touchette believes mobile, cloud and zero-day attacks will continue to increase. Highlights from AppRiver’s 2010 threat forecast include:

  • Personal data is very lucrative in the underground economy, and just as it was in 2009, it will continue to be a target for cybercriminals in 2010. Expect to see more custom malware designed for very specific purposes such as intercepting credit card purchase transactions and cardholder information.
  • The cloud will continue to be a target. Malware authors have already begun to host malicious code on major cloud based servers (e.g. Amazon’s EC2). Expect to see more of this as well as attacks against the cloud itself, namely Google Wave this year.
  • Although still a niche market, anti-virus products for smart phones often offer full data back-up in case of loss or damage as a part of their service. This info is stored on the cloud. These companies may see targeted attacks against stored personal information.



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