The main internet threats for 2008

The main internet threats for 2008

Mobile malware, botnets, phishing and ID theft

BitDefender highlighted mobile malware, botnets, phishing and identity theft as the main threats for 2008.

The security firm's 2008 security threat predictions include PC-based malware which, in 2008, is all about the money.

BitDefender predicts an increase in targeted exploits of malware and money-driven actions, attempts to collect private databases, financial information and internet banking details.

Spam is characterised by diversity and evolution next year. With the objective of avoiding filters, spam will use constant variation coupled with heavy obfuscation of content and intent.

Mobile devices are also prime targets in 2008, largely because connectivity via channels like Wi-Fi, GPRS and Bluetooth will continue to allow opportunities for malware applications to steal sensitive data.

Major players in the smartphone market will attempt to enforce " off-the-shelf" phone security, however.

BitDefender analysts strongly urged consumers to use additional mobile security applications for the best protection against this increasing threat.

Botnets will also continue to grow as a threat in 2008. While various versions of the Storm Worm, aka Nuwar, represented the biggest single threat in 2007, the worm set a precedent of how botnets are expected to develop in 2008 with thousands of variants.

The new and improved backdoor Zlob Trojan is predicted to become one of the major threats over the next year.

Web-based and email-based phishing remains a severe security threat in 2008, while techniques to defeat anti-spam filters are expected to become more sophisticated.

The use of SSL authentication by phishing websites to get the 'lock icon' look in the victim's browser is also expected to increase.

BitDefender experts predict that the number of targeted bank attacks will grow significantly in 2008.

"User behaviour has changed over the past two years," said Bogdan Dumitru, BitDefender's chief technology officer.

"With the emergence of the online lifestyle, we will see new threats resulting from online bill payment, stock trading, shopping, gaming and social networking.

"Traditional antivirus and other security providers are focused on protecting computer applications. While this is certainly still important, today's biggest threats and most prominent emerging threats are targeted at the online lifestyle."