13 Dec 2010

Internet security firm warns of highly targeted attacks in coming years

An antivirus company recently released its predictions for 2011. The company warned of an increase in targeted malware attacks in 2011 that use the internet as their main form of delivery.

The antivirus vendor predicts fewer “drive by” attacks that use malicious code planted on legitimate websites as well as an increase in malware emails.

Additionally, the company expects an increase in social engineering techniques for spreading malware, as cyber criminals spread viruses by tricking users into clicking infected links and attachments.

Some malware strains that use this delivery method, such as Conficker and Zeus, can randomly generate binaries to avoid detection, the company said.

Cloud computing providers will have to be on guard in 2011, as the company predicts a significant rise in attacks against cloud virtualization infrastructures. "Cloud computing is using open source operating systems and applications and, while the diversity of systems is making it more difficult for cyber criminals, we expect a rise in criminal activity across this area as well as the virtualization space,” said Raimund Genes, the vendor’s chief technology officer.

These predictions echo those made by other companies. Another internet security firm predicts that malware authors will become more sophisticated in their scripts, embedding malicious commands in image and music files.