Mobile Devices And Social Networks Key Malware Targets

Consumers using Facebook and other social media sites, or using mobile devices, are among the key targets of malware according to the latest Internet Security Threat Report published by anti-virus company Symantec.

The company’s 16th report still sees attacks in which specific industries or even individuals, are targeted as one of the main threats, but highlights the developing vulnerabilities that social media and mobile devices open up.

The report identified more than 286 million unique variants of malware, which together were responsible for 3.1 billion attacks on computer users in 2010. The number of attacks delivered via the internet almost doubled, Symantec reported a 93 percent increase in the volume of Web-based attacks in 2010 over the volume observed in 2009. Shortened URLs appear to be playing a role here too. During a three-month observation period in 2010, 65 percent of the malicious URLs observed on social networks were shortened URLs.

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