Malware attacks pose a huge challenge

Over the last couple of years, we have seen phenomenal growth in collaboration trends over cloud computing. This growth in technology, has given an impetus to development on various levels, the scariest of them being, collaboration by malware creators with planned and focused attack strategies. In the last few years, players on a single platform, like antivirus and security software, change the rules of the game, by collaborating with each other at different instances for different projects, to fight virus and malware, as also spam and phishing. This year, reports from various corners bring about scary situations of arch rival malware creators, tying hands and working together, to bring about unprecedented levels of damage, is thought provoking.

Some of the targets for malware attacks are websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. These social networking sites, generally, are used by the young and unaware teen and pre-teen population, making them easy targets. Distribution of fake apps, and hijacking of a browser seem to be the commonest and easiest ways for hackers and malware distributors to spread their wings in a simple and easy manner.

The DDoS attack on WordPress, Mastercard, Visa and PayPal are clear examples of group efforts of cyber criminals waging war with the system. Fake antivirus software, Trojans, attacks on smartphones and tablets and focused attacks on the Macs and Windows 7, seem to be the latest trends. HTML 5 is also a target for attackers. The pre-mature introduction and use of platforms like HTML 5 in their nascent stages, are interesting targets for such cyber activists.

Twitter has launched a free browser plug-in, developed by Finjan Inc. with an aim to aid users restrain clicking on malware and malicious links which could target the click to spyware and malware servers. The Finjan SecureBrowser plug-in has been made available for Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. However, the Finjan plug-in missed out on some links like shortened URLs, while the LongURL Mobile Expander Add-on on Firefox was more effective.

The complex IT environment of today, the new cloud and other technologies entering the fray, and with the smartphones and tablets explosion underway, it has become all the more easy for malware to flourish. The various new manufacturers and developers are yet to incorporate stringent security measures on all their offerings. While various security software and application firms claim to have set their developmental activities, well in advance of products and processes being released, security literacy is yet to see the light of day, amongst enthusiastic new comers, worldwide.

Users need to educate themselves on viruses, worms, Trojans, adware and spyware, malware, rootkits, malicious mobile codes and blended threats. User awareness increase is the only road to safety.

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