Cybercriminals a greater threat in 2011

Computer security firm McAfee is predicting a tricky 2011 in security terms for mobile devices, Apple devices and enterprise IT systems with lots of employee-owned personal gadgets on the network.

In its 2011 Threats Predictions report, McAfee said that while people have been predicting doom and gloom in the mobile space for years, and it hasn't happened, it is still only a matter of time and iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones will be among the major targets for cybercriminals in the coming year.

According to the report, the consumerization of technology is leaving enterprise IT unprepared for the onslaught of personal devices in the corporate environment. Furthermore, geolocation features in social media websites, which are also available on smartphones, will further compound exposure to cybercriminals, McAfee said.

McAfee warned people to expect cybercriminals to set up botnets of Apple devices and to introduce Trojans for Apple devices.

It said Macs were not often targeted by malicious attackers, because they are not widely deployed, however, in 2010 malware for the MacOS started to get a lot cleverer and it expected the trend to increase in 2011.

The report said that the lack of user understanding regarding exposure on these platforms and the lack of deployed security options make a fertile landscape for cybercriminals.

McAfee said that 2011 is likely to be the year when the mobile space hits a tipping point and becomes a cyber security battleground.

"The move to stick mobile devices into business environments combined with these and other attacks is likely to bring about the explosion we've long anticipated," the company wrote.

McAfee said that the popularity of iPads and iPhones in business environments and the easy portability of malicious code between them could put many users and businesses at risk next year and beyond.

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