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Windows 8 is Next "Big Target" Says McAfee

By - Source: McAfee | B 40 comments

Malware writers are expected to use NFC technology to spread worms across tablets and smartphones.

Security firm McAfee released its threat predictions report for 2013 (pdf), claiming that Windows 8 will be the next big target because "criminals go where the money goes", and that consumers will likely (eventually) upgrade to the latest version. Still, Windows 8 should provide improved security against malware and exploits compared with earlier versions of Windows... at least for a while, the company said.

"Now that the underground market for attack and malware kits is much more competitive than three years ago, it is likely that Windows 8–specific malware will be available quicker than Windows 7–specific malware appeared," McAfee said. "Systems running the new Unified Extensible Firmware Interface are still vulnerable to MBR-based rootkits, just as previous OS versions were, according to one research company."

Despite any flaws, Windows 8 is a more secure platform, McAfee said, and that upgrading is definitely worth considering.

The company also revealed its five main predictions of 2013, reporting that (1) ransomware will resurge and take on mobile devices; (2) mobile malware will go on a shopping spree; (3) mobile "tap and pay" worms will "bump and infect"; (4) botnets will phone hone; and (5) online marketplaces will offer a single "click" to hack services.

For option three, the "tap and pay" worm, this will be accomplished through devices with near-field communication (NFC) technology. Malware writers are expected to create mobile worms with NFC capabilities that can spread using that “bump and infect” method, as well as steal money from victims’ accounts.

As for the botnets phoning home, McAfee said that in 2013, "botmasters" will retaliate against the crackdown on botnets and protect their income by implementing fail-safes that will allow them to regain control of a botnet after it has been taken down. Another avenue of revenue for malware writers will be through apps that will exploit vulnerabilities in mobile phones and secretly purchase additional apps written by the malware authors, dumping money into their pockets.

"While we don’t know for sure whether these particular attacks will thrive in the year ahead, we do know that there are a large variety of threats that can put your devices and information at risk, so it’s best to take proactive measures to protect yourself."

McAfee offers four security resolutions for 2013 which can be fully read here including installing security software on ALL devices, strengthening and changing passwords, and more.


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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    ironmb , January 6, 2013 12:41 PM
    No way! Really? I could've sworn all malware/virus/trojans/etc we're just gonna stay on windows 7. You mean to tell me people are going to infect windows 8 too?! Never saw it coming...
  • 20 Hide
    fuzzion , January 6, 2013 12:46 PM
    McAfee is so bad it should get arrested. Wait! it did !
  • 16 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 6, 2013 12:52 PM
    Thanks for that, I couldn't figure out the obvious for myself...
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    maigo , January 6, 2013 12:17 PM
    new tech is always a target for trolls
  • 24 Hide
    ironmb , January 6, 2013 12:41 PM
    No way! Really? I could've sworn all malware/virus/trojans/etc we're just gonna stay on windows 7. You mean to tell me people are going to infect windows 8 too?! Never saw it coming...
  • 20 Hide
    fuzzion , January 6, 2013 12:46 PM
    McAfee is so bad it should get arrested. Wait! it did !
  • 16 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 6, 2013 12:52 PM
    Thanks for that, I couldn't figure out the obvious for myself...
  • 8 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , January 6, 2013 12:56 PM
    yes because at 1.77% market share it's sure to be the next big thing. lol Hackers go where the popularity is and Windows 7 is highly popular gainging even more market share this past month to 45.1% so this is where the hackers will be focusing on, esp when corperations just upgraded to windows 7 recently.
  • 8 Hide
    killerclick , January 6, 2013 1:04 PM
    The Windows 8 specific vulnerabilities (the Metro part) would affect less than 2% of PC users. They're safe in their niche for the time being.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , January 6, 2013 1:16 PM
    This is good it will take some attention away from 7 which I am keeping. Not interested at all in 8.
  • 10 Hide
    jojesa , January 6, 2013 1:32 PM
    Wow! McAfee just figured that out. Now I see why they can't figure out how to build a decent Antivirus.
  • 0 Hide
    Cryio , January 6, 2013 1:41 PM
    If you are at least half-documented, you don't even need an antivirus on you PC.

    With Windows 8 being as secure as it is, I don't even think about the possibility.

    Talking about phones....well, here there are worries.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , January 6, 2013 2:03 PM
    Hahaha, McAfee, I remove it from every PC I come across with it on and replace it with a real Anti-Virus program!
  • 6 Hide
    A Bad Day , January 6, 2013 2:14 PM
    You don't say, McAfee...

    CryioIf you are at least half-documented, you don't even need an antivirus on you PC.With Windows 8 being as secure as it is, I don't even think about the possibility. Talking about phones....well, here there are worries.


    A few months ago, my school's website was hacked and a couple of java exploits were loaded into it.

    Trusted websites can be hacked, including this one.
  • 3 Hide
    daglesj , January 6, 2013 2:30 PM
    What Microsoft needs to do is actually turn ON all the security 7 and 8 has by default rather than leaving it all switched off in case it stops someone running a piece of software written in 1998.

    It should make DEP/ASLR/SEHOP etc. all ON by default. Plus make the real divide between an Admin and standard user account rather than Admin as default. UAC helps but folks either ignore it or turn it off.

    The security is all there, it's just MS is too pussy to use it. It's odd that they will push folks to learn a new UI but are terrified to annoy a user if a years old shareware app won't work anymore.

    I keep trying to push the following for folks to try -

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29851

    At least this switches some of the protection back on.
  • 2 Hide
    fearless1333 , January 6, 2013 2:44 PM
    Well Windows 8 market share is at a diminutive 1.77% (by contrast, Mac OS X has about 5% market share and hackers already don't bother with it due to low market share), but hackers will still probably create viruses for it because it is on both mobile systems and computers. Plus, Windows 8 is still a Windows OS. Obviously it will be much easier to create viruses for it as the coding languages are the same and any unpatched security vulnerability will still work.
  • -2 Hide
    JohnUSA , January 6, 2013 2:49 PM
    Windows 8 is a horrible , bad, irritating and piece of garbage OS that it really deserves to die.
  • 3 Hide
    somebodyspecial , January 6, 2013 3:39 PM
    It will be a while before anyone even cares about win8 (1.77 share) and they may never care. You won't be doing much damage trying to get 1.77% of the pc's out there. This is just the usual fear mongering by an AV company.

    DO NOT GO TO ANTI-VIRUS-REVIEWS.NET.
    ALWAYS check a site at scamadvisor.com first if it's not a WELL known company or you have doubts...LOL. I had doubts about YOUR safety the second I saw the funky domain. A real company doesn't have dashes etc in their names that many times usually, more like antivirusreviews.net not how he put it, his way REEKS of a company that can't afford the one you can easily get to, or is just a scam site - though not a guarantee here, it's just REAL common sense to suspect domains like his. 30day old domain? Nice try. I wouldn't have went there for a review anyway but wanted to check for other's safety.
    Notes:-
    [Alert Result] The owner of the website is using a service to hide their identity
    [Alert Result] This website is 30 Days old
    [Alert Result] The website expected life (365 days) is relatively short.
    [Alert Result] The website appears to be less than six months old

    There are other sites you can check this stuff on but this one is great for anything. There's more detail on there about this JHANCOCK3's site link. I just didn't paste it here. RUN from his site...LOL. Best to go to a PCmag.com or cnet.com type site (whatever your country's equivalent PC magazine is) and READ about AV apps and see where they say X app passed (they usually mention a lab testing site that got similar results to their own review. Then check to see if they score well at the people who ACTUALLY test these things in LABS for real (and that's pretty much all they do) as in how effective is X brand?
    av-test.org (german I think if memory serves 13yr old)
    virusbtn.com (vb100 awards, Brits 18yr old domain) as an example check out these two ages...
    http://www.av-comparatives.org (pcmag.com points to them in recent reviews, Australian lab)
    etc etc...Usually AV reviews on PROMINENT websites (like cnet.com etc) tell who X product passes and you can go read the FULL report from that lab on who won what tests etc.

    LEARN HOW TO SURF SAFELY! Trust NOBODY. :)  Not even me ;)  Go to well known sites and find out where they tell you to read results etc for this kind of crap (like the pcmag sites etc). Best to avoid sites with SHORT domain times. You can WHOIS a domain also before going there etc. Many ways to find out info about a site before you do the damage to yourself for being ignorant (note I didn't say stupid, ignorant and stupid are two different things). You're stupid if you ignore my warnings. :)  Ignorant if you just didn't know these sites above existed ;) 

    If you want to read about hardware etc, you come to a tomshardware.com or anandtech.com (check scamadvisor on them, years old etc). Not "i-do-hardware-reviews.ru" or some such crap. Wise up people. :)  Happy surfing. Oh and yes, win8 sucks ;)  Nobody cares...Move along...LOL

    PS...Can we get this jhancock3 banned along with his IP? Just a thought (though so easy to hide with TOR etc).

  • -4 Hide
    kellybean , January 6, 2013 3:42 PM
    Windows has always been a Swiss Cheese platform and 8 is no different.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , January 6, 2013 3:43 PM
    One more comment, check a users profile before heading off to some site also. It won't tell you everything (as some of us lose them over time, my own handle for instance, stuck in space, and really wanted nobody special...LOL) but this dude has ONE POST, that's it.

    So check a user...Still looks bad? Check a site like scamadvisor...That will probably end your thoughts and stop you from going to some guys link (I'd stop at his 1 post...ROFL). No need to go to anti-virus-reviews.net. DO NOT DO THIS!!!!!. I sincerely hope none of you just got scammed by whatever is at this site :) 
  • -3 Hide
    infernocy , January 6, 2013 3:57 PM
    i install windows 8 on virtual machine and i can say its beyond terrible -- i bet my next os will either be ubundu or debian
  • 0 Hide
    COLGeek , January 6, 2013 4:14 PM
    Duh, you think so McAfee? Seems a blinding flash of the obvious as OSes evolve. Seriously.
  • 3 Hide
    LEXX911 , January 6, 2013 4:19 PM
    I wouldn't be surprised if the anti-virus makers out there are the one releasing some of the viruses themselves.
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