Danger lurks behind social networking

Malware disguised as social networking tops new list of emerging security threats.

What's the top threat to data security going to be in 2009?
According to the GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats Report for
2009
out of Georgia Tech's Information Security Center, the
answer is malware specifically disguised as "benign social
networking links."


The report, released at the GTISCSecurity Summit on Emerging Cyber Security Threats this week,
identifies the key data security threats that are likely to expand
and evolve in the coming year. It focuses on threats to both
consumer and enterprise systems.


According to the second-annual report, the chief motivator for
all of the top emerging threats will be data. Last year's inaugural
report cited financial gain as the chief motivator, and "Web 2.0"
was cited as the top emerging threat category. But Web 2.0 doesn't
even make the top-five list for 2009.


Instead, this year's list includes the following:



  1. Malware disguised as social networking links;

  2. Botnets, which GTISC said are growing faster even than viruses
    and spam;

  3. "Cyberwarfare" (attacks on economy and infrastructure);

  4. VoIP and mobile convergence issues, including "voice fraud and
    cellular botnets"; and

  5. "The evolving cybercrime economy," which includes malware
    programs and kits for sale.


"At GTISC, we strongly believe that a proactive approach to
understanding emerging threats will help us develop more effective
information security technologies and strategies," said Mustaque
Ahamad, director of GTISC, in a statement released Thursday. "The
annual GTISC Security Summit on Emerging Cyber Security Threats and
this report seek to give us a better understanding of the
increasingly sophisticated cyber security challenges we will face
in the years ahead...."


The 2009 report can be downloaded in PDF format here. A Webcast covering he report, as well as
additional information, can be found here.


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