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Cellphone Botnets, Blackmailing VOIP & a Healthy Cybercrime Economy
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Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 16 October 2008 10:52
New report from Georgia Tech Information Security Center highlights the top threats for '09 and beyond
OCTOBER 15, 2008 | 5:25 PM

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Senior Editor, Dark Reading

Cellphones will become members of botnets. VOIP systems will get hit by blackmailing denial-of-service attacks. The cybercrime economy will thrive, even as the global economy struggles.

And today, around 15 percent of all computers online are infected as bots, up from 10 percent last year, according to the Georgia Tech Information Security Center's (GTISC) new report on emerging cyber threats for 2009 and beyond.

“Compared with viruses and spam, botnets are growing at a faster rate,” said botnet researcher Wenke Lee, an associate professor at GTISC in the report, which was released today at the GTISC Security Summit on Emerging Cyber Security Threats.

And it’s not just your laptop or desktop that’s at risk of botnet recruitment. One of the next big threats will be the bad guys injecting malware onto cellphones to infect them as bots. Those botnets then could be used against the wireless infrastructure.

“Large cellular botnets could then be used to perpetrate a DoS [denial-of-service] attack against the core of the cellular network,” said Patrick Traynor, assistant professor in the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech and a member of GTISC. “But because the mobile communications field is evolving so quickly, it presents a unique opportunity to design security properly -- an opportunity we missed with the PC.”

Botnet proliferation on computers, as well as on mobile devices like cellphones, and other attacks on mobile devices were among the top five emerging cyber threats the GTISC report and summit highlighted. The other threats are malware, mainly via social networking links; cyber warfare targeted at the U.S. economy and infrastructure; and an evolving cybercrime economy with plug-and-play malware kits and programs, for instance.   [Dark Reading....]    [Comments...]
 

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