Security Threat Report 2011 - Slide 6

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Threats to Watch

One of the more widely-covered malware stories of the year concerned the “Stuxnet” worm. Stuxnet appeared to target highly sensitive SCADA systems, which monitor and control industrial, infrastructure or facility-based processes, and was remarkable for the sophistication of the code and the amount of work involved in its creation.

Some of Iran’s sensitive nuclear program computers were reportedly affected by it, which targeted programmable logic controllers, or PLCs. When Stuxnet found a targeted PLC, it injected its own code into it, concealed itself and the alterations it made; Stuxnet caused the computer system to misdirect the controlled process.

Enormous hype surrounded the discovery of the Stuxnet worm. The so-called military-grade malware may have been an advanced threat, showing a number of flaws in many layers of security processes, but Sophos will remember the Stuxnet worm more for its media impact than its effect on global politics or industry.

We will remember 2010 as a year in which our interaction with technology — and with each other — evolved because of the widespread adoption of social media and the use of innovative mobile computing devices.

We are dependent on smart devices — just ask anyone who has lost their iPhone or BlackBerry. And whether you’re using a mobile device or a laptop or desktop computer, you’re likely to use social networks more than ever. This new technology changes the way we communicate with our friends, colleagues and customers. This not only revolutionizes the way we live our lives, but also blurs the lines that define the way we run our businesses and use and share information.

Today, users are the content. Driving the growth, and at the same time being driven by it, the explosion in mobile computing is expanding the impact of the social Web. And, the way that content is shared and accessed is now the core of a new global culture, affecting and combining the spheres of personal and business life.

Of course, this evolution of technology is closely tracked by the “bad guys” willing to exploit weaknesses in our technologies and in human nature. Cyber criminals prey on our curiosity, and perhaps our vulnerability and gullibility, and use psychological traps to profit from unsuspecting technology users. Malware scams and exploits targeting social networking websites, applications, devices, and users proliferate. At the same time, traditional attacks continue to become more sophisticated to target the most advanced software, hardware and websites.

In this slideshow, we highlight the more significant security threats identified by Sophos in 2010 and outline critical access points that need to be guarded against future threats.

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Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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