Computer Crime Research Center


Apple and smartphones top 2011 cybercrime targets

Date: December 29, 2010

Security firm McAfee expects malicious activity in 2011 to target smartphones, URL shorteners, geolocation services like Foursquare, and Apple products across the board, according to a report released on Tuesday.

"We've seen significant advancements in device and social-network adoption, placing a bulls-eye on the platforms and services users are embracing the most," Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, said in a release announcing the report. "These platforms and services have become very popular in a short amount of time, and we're already seeing a significant increase in vulnerabilities, attacks and data loss."

In other words, the security infrastructure surrounding popular new services and devices — and more importantly, public awareness of potential threats that people may face when using them — may not be up to par with better-established technologies. Take URL shorteners, for example: Because it's so easy to mask longer URLs with them and because Twitter users have grown accustomed to clicking them without much thought, McAfee expects that they will continue to be targets for spam, scams and viruses.

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