Websense predicts one new variant of malicious applications every day for 2012

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets will see more than 1,000 different variants of malicious applications and botnets infecting these devices in 2012, with at least one new variant expected to be seen every day next year, according to US web filtering and desktop security software manufacturer Websense.

The increasing bring your own devices (BYOD) trend, combined with mobility, social media and cloud computing will be the drivers for the main IT security threats in 2012, Websense predicted.

Websense Security Labs researchers have found that among the main security concerns for next year, social media identity may prove more valuable to cybercriminals than credit cards, since attackers are buying and selling social media credentials in online forums.

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In this respect, Websense warns that social media "friends," mobile devices and cloud platforms will be the primary blended attack method used in the most advanced attacks. Previously, blended attacks used to be predominately about the use of email and web together.

Contrary to the traditional concern for outbound traffic and data theft, Websense believes the majority of data theft is related to hacking and malware, so it calls for greater prevention in that area.

Other predictions for 2012 include the traditional use of highly popular search terms to spread malware, as well as social engineering techniques and rogue anti-virus.