Tech Strategy Trends

Dec 19 2009   1:17AM GMT

2010: The Year of Windows 7 Malware

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Yes, and no.

A blog post citing statements from Swedish security software developer Lavasoft, makers of Adaware, claims that 2010 will see a shift in attacks and malware techniques to adapt to the improved security of Windows 7. The post stresses that Microsoft will continue to be the focal point of most malware due to its overwhelming presence, but that rising use of Ubuntu and Mac OS X could lead to an increase in attacks targeting those OS’s as well.

I would argue that Ubuntu and Mac OS X are still far from being worth a malware developer’s time. The combined total market share of all Mac OS X versions, and all versions of Linux- including Ubuntu- combined is about six percent. Linux makes up only one percent of the OS market, so no matter how much Ubuntu may seem to be gaining, its share is still irrelevant.

It is sort of a no-brainer that attackers will seek to crack Windows 7’s armor. That is hardly a revelation. I expect there will be a success or two on that front and we’ll see some malware targeted specifically at Windows 7. With more cloud-based services, and the ubuquitous nature of Web browsing across all operating systems and all platforms- desktops, laptops, netbooks, mobile phones, etc.- attackers will pay extra attention to Web-based exploits.

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