Report: Windows 8 Will Become Top Hacking Target in 2013

A recent report released by security firm Websense Security Labs states that Windows 8 will become one of the top three most hacked platforms in 2013 alongside Google's Android and Apple's iOS. This is probably a given due to that many Windows 7 users will be upgrading to the new platform while others will be purchasing new machines with the new OS already installed.

"Microsoft’s efforts to produce an extremely developer friendly platform will be embraced by the cybercriminal community, and vulnerabilities will be exploited," the company said in its 2013 Security Predictions. "If they deliver on their promise, the rate of threat growth on Microsoft mobile devices will be the highest."

According to the firm, Android will be targeted because of its open-based nature. Attack techniques used on the desktop platform will continue to migrate over to Google's operating system. Even more, the search engine giant's increased efforts to reduce fragmentation and the platform's overall mobile market share will draw in even more cybercriminals than in previous years.

As for iOS, vulnerabilities will not pose any significant risk due to its closed nature. However, given the strong penetration of iOS in professional environments, IT should consider this a prime platform for targeted attacks, Websense said.

The company made seven predictions for 2013: (1) mobile devices will be the new target for cross-platform threats; (2) cybercriminals will use bypass methods to avoid traditional sandbox detection; (3) legitimate mobile app stores will host more malware in 2013; (4) government-sponsored attacks will increase as new players enter; (5) expert hactivists will move to the next level as simplistic opportunities dwindle (6) malicious emails are making a comeback; and (7) cybercriminals will follow the crowds to legitimate content management systems and web platforms.

"In 2013, threats to Microsoft mobile devices will see the highest rate of growth," the firm said. "Cybercriminals are similar to legitimate application developers in that they focus on the most profitable platforms. As development barriers are removed, mobile threats will be able to leverage a huge library of shared code. Attacks will also continue to increasingly use social engineering lures to capture user credentials on mobile devices."

To read the full report, download the PDF from here – registration is required first.

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  • BuckminsterCampione
    Just another reason not to upgrade.
  • mariusmotea
    I don't belive. Many users claim that will not upgrade to windows 8.
  • internetlad
    This just in- Birds fly, Grass grows and is green, Gravity is what holds us on earth and believe it or not, hackers are going to attempt to penetrate the newest operating system from the company with the largets desktop and laptop OS market share.
  • DjEaZy
    ... no normal desktop? Hackers target? Passs!!!!!
  • troger5troger5
    yea, it will be hacked with a new start button!
  • blazorthon
    BuckminsterCampioneJust another reason not to upgrade.
    DjEaZy... no normal desktop? Hackers target? Passs!!!!!
    Windows 8 will be one of the main targets purely because it's the next Windows release. It's no less secure than 7 (technically, it's a little more secure by default, but that's not entirely relevant) and an increase in cyber threats against 8 will also mean an increase in cyber threats for 7 and probably also Vista too.

    If anything, the only nearly modern Windows OS that isn't as likely to get such a threat jump is XP and that's solely because of its age and decreasing compatibility with current versions of Windows.

    So, this is not in any way a reason to not upgrade because the same trend will slam Windows 7 and probably with even greater vengeance, especially if fewer people buy 8 than already have 7 (making 7 the better target). Whether or not you like 8 is irrelevant in this article and is the sole reason for whether or not you'd upgrade to it. It doesn't take a smart person to see that you dislike 8 (probably for irrelevant or even incorrect reasons anyway), but it also doesn't take a smart person to see that you're not even trying to give good reasons to not upgrade and didn't put any rational thought into your comment here.

    My personal opinion of either version of Windows is also irrelevant in saying this: Windows 7, assuming that 8 fails commercially, is going to be a greater cyber security concern than 8 because it will be the larger target and thus the superior target for any hackers looking to get the most infections with their malware.

    Furthermore, DjEaZy, you're lying. There is a normal desktop in Windows 8 and anyone who's actually used it should know that.
  • DRosencraft
    Not much of a revelation here. Criminals go where the most people are. Obviously cybercriminals are gonna target the most popular systems, which are Android, iOS, and Windows. There will also be some targeting of Apple's notebook and desktop OS, but minimal because there is such a small number of them relative to the Windows environment. Not upgrading to 8 isn't gonna help, the same as upgrading to 8 isn't going to do a whole lot to protect you. Hackers and cybercriminals aren't going to stop targeting 7, the same way they still target XP users. And as I've said previously, simply being "smart" about where you go on the web doesn't always work, because there are hackers that will hide code even on legitimate sites. Having some kind of security software, even if it's a freeware like AVG is a good idea just to be safe.
  • chomlee
    Is this really breaking news??? One of the top 3 operating systems will become one of the top 3 targets in virus attacks? Someone actually paid to have someone research that???? You could have given me 1/10th of what you paid them and I could have told you that on the spot.
  • j2j663
    Man I wish I could get paid to pull shit out of my ass like these guys.
  • mesab66
    And in other news, after 23yrs research, it has been proven that water is wet.