Password Theft, Video Files Top List of Security Threats

McAfee’s Avert Labs research group on Nov. 29 released its annual report on the Top 10 security threats likely to grow in severity during the coming year, highlighting expectations for continued professionalism among malware code writers and a range of attacks on emerging technology platforms in 2007.

The trend toward malware writers and online fraudsters who bring a high level of professionalism to their work will dominate the IT threat landscape, according to Dave Marcus, security research and communications manager at McAfee Avert Labs.

Long gone are the days of script kiddies who created attacks almost purely for sport. They have been replaced by organized networks of code writers who conduct quality assurance tests on their malicious code and offer software updates to the people using their programs to steal money from businesses and end users.

As a result, the threats that Santa Clara, Calif.-based McAfee expects to arrive during 2007 will exhibit a growing sophistication in the methods they employ in attempting to hide themselves in seemingly legitimate applications, and in finding ways to garner sensitive personal and financial information, Marcus said.

Along those lines, McAfee researchers said that the volume and variety of Web sites built to steal users’ information, such as in phishing schemes, will continue to proliferate. Many of those sites will offer counterfeit sign-in pages designed specifically to mimic the Web interfaces used by popular sites such as eBay.

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