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.