UPDATED 14:07 EDT / JANUARY 07 2011

McAfee Mobile Threat Predictions for 2011

Truly, cyber threats and the technology for preventing them progresses over time. McAfee, a renowned anti-virus service provider, predicts that there would be a remarkable change in threat landscape as malware sophistication and targeting increases, as well as their daily volume. The types of threat that will attack mobile devices will also change. Mcafee divided the detail predictions across eight areas:

Exploiting Social Media
Sophistication Mimics Legitimacy
Botnet Survival
Advanced Persistent Threats

Interestingly, McAfee recently found a Trojan on the Android platform that fulflls two of its predictions, but after examining it closely, they realized that it fulfilled more. Also, it appeared very familiar. Turns out it was the same PC-based Trojan that we’re all very familiar with. It uploads information to a drop site and can receive commands as if it were part of a botnet. McAfee then goes on explaining:

“It means that malware is pretty much malware regardless of platform. It means that many of the current classes of threats will simply shift to new technologies and platforms and that the bad guys do not have to recreate the wheel. They simply have to modify that wheel (threat) to suit their new needs or targets. The point is proven: We can have threats and malware on any platform and any operating system.”

Therefore, cybercrime can also happen on mobile platforms. As the hype and demand for mobile grows, so are the threats. Its only logical to focus on this platforms as well.

To sum up, this Android Trojan horse satisfies the following predictions:
Exploiting Social Media: It grabs password and GPS coordinates
Mobile: It targets the Android platform
Applications: It comes disguised within a game through a third-party app store
Sophistication Mimics Legitimacy: It is actually signed with a development certificate
Botnet Survival: It is a new method of establishing and controlling bots

The year is just starting. Sure enough, there’d be more cyber threats to come.  McAfee has already uncovered potential cyber criminals for this year, as well as naming Apple and Facebook as potential crime scenes.

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