CA Internet Security Report Forecasts Top Online Threats for 2008



    Gamers, Social Networks, and U.S. Presidential Election at Risk;
    Bots Switch Up Tactics; Malware Gets Smarter

    ISLANDIA, NY, Jan. 9 /CNW/ - The latest Internet Security Outlook Report
issued today by CA, Inc. (NYSE:   CA) forewarns that online gamers, social
networks and high-profile events like the U.S. presidential election and the
Beijing Olympics are among the top potential targets for online attacks in
2008. The study, based on data compiled by CA's Global Security Advisor
researchers, features Internet security predictions for 2008 and also reports
on trends from 2007.
    "Cyber-criminals go where opportunity lies and take advantage of any and
all vulnerabilities," said Brian Grayek, vice president of Product Management
for CA's Internet Security Business Unit. "While security protection is
becoming better at detecting malware, online thieves are getting smarter and
stealthier in the way they attack our computers."

    
    CA online security predictions for 2008:

    1. Bots will dominate 2008: The number of computers infected by botnets
    will increase sharply in 2008. In an effort to become harder to detect,
    bot-herders are changing their tactics and decentralizing via
    peer-to-peer architectures. They are increasingly using instant
    messaging as their main vehicle for spreading botnets.

    2. Smarter malware: There are new levels of sophistication in malware.
    Malware will target virtualized computers, and increasing use of
    obfuscation techniques to hide in plain sight, including
    steganography and encryptions, will help criminals conceal their
    activities.

    3. Gamers under fire: Gamers already are a prized target, and stealing
    their account credentials continues to be a primary objective of
    online criminals. Gamers historically are more concerned with
    optimizing their PCs for high performance rather than for tight
    security. In 2008, virtual assets will equal real world money for
    Internet criminals.

    4. Social networking sites in the crosshairs: Social networking sites
    will become increasingly popular and, as a result, more vulnerable.
    The large number of aggregated potential victims and relatively small
    concern for computer security make these sites a windfall for cyber
    thieves.

    5. Key dates for opportunity: The U.S. presidential election and the
    2008 Olympics in Beijing offer high-profile opportunities for
    destructive attacks and corruption or outright theft of information.

    6. Web 2.0 services and sites will come under targeted attacks: While it
    is relatively easy to implement Web 2.0 services, it can be quite
    challenging to configure them to be totally secure. Therefore, many
    Internet sites using these services are easy targets with little
    outward indication that a site is compromised.

    7. Windows Vista at risk: As businesses and consumers buy new computers,
    Vista's market share will grow. Although it is designed as Microsoft's
    most secure operating system, 20 vulnerabilities were reported in 2007,
    according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. As more
    people use it, the more attackers will target it.

    8.  Mobile devices will still be safe: Mobile devices are still safe,
    despite rumors of mobile malware. Smartphones and other mobile devices
    will not be a real opportunity for criminals in 2008. Proof-of-concept
    malware for mobile devices has not yet translated into any meaningful
    attacks. The only significant mobile vulnerability reported in 2007 was
    to the Apple iPhone.
    

    "The digital footprints that are collected and stored whenever we use the
Internet are incredibly valuable to marketers and to online criminals," Grayek
continued. "We've seen malware evolve from a cottage industry to a
full-fledged fraud business. Shockingly, it is now operating with business
practices and development similar to legitimate software organizations. Our
attitude about protecting our Internet privacy and the subsequent actions we
take - whether at work or at play - can dramatically alter our online safety."

    
    CA researchers tracked the following trends in 2007:

    -   Malware volumes grew by 16 times in October vs. January 2007.
    -   For the first time, malicious spyware surpassed trojans as the most
        prevalent form of malware. In 2007, 56 percent of the total malware
        seen was malicious spyware, 32 percent were trojans, 9 percent were
        worms, and 2 percent were viruses.
    -   Adware, trojans and downloaders were the most common types of
        spyware.
    -   The most widespread worms this year were simple network and removable
        drive worms. Some worms cripple computers as they go. Others worms
        drop additional malware or open the compromised computers to backdoor
        control by a malicious attacker.
    -   Rogue-or fake-security software has been an ongoing problem, and it's
        indicative of the rising tide of misleading applications. Rogue
        security software made up 6 percent of the total spyware volume in
        2007. Rogue security software is typically distributed via online ads
        for free anti-spyware software.
    -   Attack methods converged and blended threats with multiple components
        are now the norm.
    -   More than 90 percent of email is spam, and more than 80 percent of
        spam contains links to malicious sites or malware.
    -   The quality of spam has improved and is no longer obviously riddled
        with typos. It is also laden with attachments - images, PDFs,
        documents, spreadsheets or videos - that have malware or link to
        malicious sites.
    -   Malware is an international issue. Much of the criminal activity
        originates in Eastern Europe and Asia and is targeted at nations
        where there are large populations of Internet users. Nearly
        40 percent of spam was directed towards the United States. Australia,
        the U.K., France and Germany were also targeted. Malware is an
        emerging issue in Latin America, South Korea, and China.
    

    The CA 2008 Internet Security Outlook report is intended to inform
consumers and businesses of the newest and most dangerous Internet threats,
forecast trends and provide practical advice for protection. The analysis
provided is based on incident information from the CA Global Security Advisor
team, submitted by CA customers and consumers from January to October 2007, as
well as publicly available information. For the full CA 2008 Internet Security
Outlook report, please visit www.ca.com/securityadvisor.
    The CA Global Security Advisor Team delivers the around-the-clock,
dependable security expertise, offering trusted security advice to the world
for more than 16 years. Providing a complete threat management resource, CA's
Security Advisor Team is staffed by industry-leading researchers and skilled
support professionals. CA Global Security Advisor is available at
www.ca.com/securityadvisor. It offers free security alerts, RSS feeds,
PC scans and a regular blog updated by the worldwide team of researchers. CA's
entire portfolio of threat-related products for home, small and medium
businesses, and enterprises are updated and protected by the CA Global
Security Advisor team.

    About CA

    CA (NYSE:   CA), one of the world's largest independent software companies,
provides software solutions to unify and simplify(TM) IT management. With CA's
Enterprise IT Management (EITM) vision and expertise, organizations can more
effectively govern, manage and secure IT to optimize business performance and
sustain competitive advantage. Founded in 1976, CA serves customers in
virtually every country in the world. For more information, please visit
www.ca.com.

    Copyright (C) 2008 CA. All Rights Reserved. One CA Plaza, Islandia, N.Y.
    11749. All trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced
    herein belong to their respective companies.





For further information:

For further information: Lawrence Cummer, Environics Communications,
(416) 969-2747, lcummer@environicspr.com

Organization Profile

CA CANADA

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890