Each year, details regarding different threats and event in network security are important not only to security experts but also to individuals and companies. These will serve as information and as a basis on how companies and experts can address different threats in security lying in wait ahead of them. And in the event that their system fall victim to cyber threats, they will be prepared for incident response and on how they fix the dilemma that happened to them.
Like any other year, competition for traffic has been common amongst different websites in the web but that competition has reached the darker side of the Internet – the cyber underground. Cyber criminals, whether groups or individuals are having intense competition amongst themselves because the network security of individuals and companies has become tighter and tighter as more and more threats appear on the cyber highway. Even if the cyber criminals have advanced tools and skills they can use for their gain, Internet users have become more aware on the importance of protecting themselves against these crooks. Just to gain the upper hand, cyber criminals created new and sophisticated malware, botnets and other malicious software they could use.
2010 has also seen a lot of grey money making schemes aside from the regular cyber criminal activities. One example is infecting user computers or legal websites by using drive-by downloads. Cyber criminals will coerce users into downloading certain file by any means necessary using the hijacked resources meant for blackhat search engine optimization. Grey schemes also involved distribution of attention grabbing links, the spread of adware and the redirecting of traffic to adult websites instead to regular ones.
As stated above, malware has become more sophisticated by the year 2010; however, there were no global threat than is comparable to the Conficker worm of 2009, whether it is in the speed of propagation, the number of infected computers or the scope of damage it has made. Still, without considering these factors, there are outbreaks of malware infections that can bevirtually classified as global malware epidemics.
No epidemics have occurred in 2010 that are comparable to the Kido (Conficker) worm epidemic of 2009 in terms of propagation speed, the number of affected users and the scope of attention it attracted. However, if these factors are considered separately, outbreaks of certain infections may be classified as global epidemics.
In 2010, many botnets have caught the attention of many security experts, analysts and the media such as Zeus, The Mariposa, Bredolab, Black Energy version 2, Sinowal, Koobface and TDSS. Attacks from these botnets have affected millions of computers located in different places around the world. The threats from these malware are the most sophisticated and advanced ever created. These botnets were able to propagate because of the many existing vectors used in infecting computer systems. It includes email, social networks, downloadable applications, widgets and even P2P networks.
The greatest malware that ever appeared in 2010 was the Stuxnet. It was truly a creative and revolutionary worm that has grabbed the attention of many cyber security experts particularly in the second half of the year. Many publications have released speculations about the role of Stuxnet, its potential targets and how it operates. Compared to any other malware threat in the history, Stuxnet has drawn tons of media and industry attention.
Apparently, in the next years to come, we will be able to see more sophisticated malicious program popping here and there in the Internet. Many security industries as well as companies who have waged years and years of war against these threats will be up on their toes again, preparing for any imminent threats from the horizon. This has raised the importance of having better network security, tougher network infrastructure and network administrators complete with incident handling training.
Fortunately, the year 2010 is not filled with bad news in cyber security only. It is because experts have seen a significant drop in the numbers of rogue anti-virus software available in the Internet. These rogue AVs were effective only on a number of malicious software but not the majority of them. incident handling experts would always advise individual users to use legit AV software only. Perhaps, the reason for this is the fact that law enforcement and AV industries have worked together to gradually stop those behind the distribution of rogue AVs.
The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in cybersecurity and e-commerce. It is the owner and developer of 20 security certifications. EC-Council has trained over 90,000 security professionals and certified more than 40,000 members. These certifications are recognized worldwide and have received endorsements from various government agencies. They also offer trainings in incident response.
More information about EC-Council is available at www.eccouncil.org.
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