Apple Mac users can't afford to be complacent about viruses, with increasing levels of malware targeting the Mac operating system, warns Trend Micro in its annual threat roundup and 2009 forecast.
"As Mac computers, which do not usually ship with antivirus applications, continue to increase their market share, they will become increasingly vulnerable to attacks," says the report, which also predicts that threats exploiting bugs in Linux will grow.
Redmond won't escape unscathed from the year either, with Trend Micro expecting proof-of-concept malware to exploit Microsoft Windows 7, Surface, Silverlight, and Azure in the year ahead. Cybercriminals will continue to employ a more professional approach to time their zero-day exploits to disrupt Microsoft's monthly 'Patch Tuesday' schedule.
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Trend forsees a rise in ransomware and ransom attacks in the second half of the year, targeting small to medium-sized companies that are large enough to have money worth extorting, but small enough that they cannot cope with threats of an IT disaster or large amounts of downtime.
But it seems that even the internet isn't big enough for all the outlaws out there. Trend predicts that increasing competition for financial gains from phishing and fraud, as well as the downsizing of criminal cyber gangs and improvements in security solutions will lead to virus wars, worm wars, and botnet wars between rival gangs in Eastern Europe and China.
In other bad news, identity theft and spam (already running at 95 per cent of all email) will increase and virtual worlds will experience real-world trouble as cyber-crims prey on players in online games, particularly in Asia.
Frankly, if it wasn't an extremely poor idea for our long-term business model, we'd recommend that you just unplug your computer right now and go back to that electric typewriter gathering dust in the cupboard.