Print 24 comment(s) - last by Smilin.. on Jan 5 at 4:55 PM

Flash and Reader expected to be big targets

With more and more people conducting transactions and spending ever increasing amounts of time on the computer, hackers are increasingly targeting software and other computer services as a way to steal information and other nefarious tasks. The security community is working as hard as hacker groups to prevent attacks from compromising the computers of users around the globe.

Security firm McAfee has announced its 2010 Threat Predictions report. According to the report, in 2010 Adobe will surpass Microsoft as a target for hackers. Hackers traditionally target Microsoft software products like Office more heavily than applications and software from other vendors.

McAfee figures that the popularity of Adobe products like Flash and Reader, two of the most distributed applications in the world, will lead hackers to target Adobe applications more in 2010. McAfee reports, "Adobe product exploitation will likely surpass that of Microsoft Office applications in 2010."

Hackers will also step up attacks on social networking sites in 2010 believes McAfee as well as stepping up attacks on third party applications in general. Hackers are expected to take advantage of HTML 5 to create Trojans and botnets that are cross browser capable.

McAfee's Jeff Green said, "We're now facing emerging threats from the explosive growth of social networking sites, the exploitation of popular applications, and more advanced techniques used by cybercriminals, but we're confident that 2010 will be a successful year for the cybersecurity community."

Most attacks on social networking sites are expected to come in the form of rogue apps that are distributed across the network and use the names on a users friends list to trick them into clicking links they might not click otherwise. McAfee believes that cyber criminals will also begin using botnets that adopt a per-to-peer control scheme that are more distributed and resilient to techniques used against today's botnets by security firms.

Adobe software has already been targeted by hackers this year. In February a flaw in Adobe Flash was exploited allowing ads on eWeek to infect the computer of users.

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RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By Bateluer on 12/31/2009 3:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree, unfortunately, nobody ever gets fired for buying Adobe products. Many departments absolutely MUST have Photoshop, Acrobat Pro, etc.

Its the same thing with MS Office, people MUST have it.

And while I can suggest viable alternatives to Office(, Photoshop(GIMP), I have nothing for Acrobat Pro.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By frontliner on 12/31/2009 4:02:56 PM , Rating: 4
Foxit is an awesome replacement for Acrobat.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By ClownPuncher on 12/31/2009 6:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't Foxit just a reader? Acrobat is not a reader

By ClownPuncher on 12/31/2009 6:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
*not just a reader.

By Quake on 1/1/2010 10:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 11:20:13 AM , Rating: 2
Any thoughts on a replacement for Flash? THAT is the Adobe product I really want to dump!

I already use OpenOffice, GIMP and Foxit, so my computer is Adobe-free except for Flash. I've looked for third-party flash plugins that weren't crap, but haven't found any. For browsing I *always* use Flashblock, but unfortunately it doesn't actually block the flash completely. I had a rather nasty piece of malware on my laptop not to long ago and I'm 99% certain that it snuck through Flashblock and used an exploit in Flash to get at my system.

I *wish* I could disable Flash altogether, but sadly without it there are just way too many web pages that are entirely unusable.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By eddieroolz on 1/3/2010 12:43:09 AM , Rating: 2
Silverlight would be a replacement, but some may dislike the fact that it's Microsoft.

By Smilin on 1/5/2010 4:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Silverlight rocks and I don't care who it's from.

It's lightweight, fast, and (so far so good) secure. I'm not sure what else you could ask for.

By MamiyaOtaru on 1/3/2010 3:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
rather than a replacement perhaps one day Gnash or SWFdec will be useful as reimplementations

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By bug77 on 1/3/2010 11:14:22 AM , Rating: 1
It's almost here: HTML5 <video> element. IE aside (as usual) every browser can currently play video with no plugin installed. Check this out:

-1 to the Silverlight suggestion; that's just Flash from M$.

RE: Adobe just does nothing about their issues
By B3an on 1/3/2010 12:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
HTML5 video element will not make many sites switch to it over Flash, as Flash still has many advantages for video alone.

I'm a web dev and i consider it the best solution out there for many net based things. The only issue i have is security.
But ignoring security for a moment, i think the main reason some people dislike Flash comes down to it's greatness... because it's so good and relatively easy at integrating video, animation, and sound it's used for tons of annoying ads and the like. If there was anything else as good for this stuff, then that would simply be used instead, and then people would just hate that.

By bug77 on 1/3/2010 9:44:48 PM , Rating: 2

The reason people hate Flash is because it's bad. I can only use Flash on Linux together with FlashBlock. Otherwise it will completely use the CPU just for showing a couple pages worth of ads. Even the flagship Windows version has caused pretty much all the crashes I experienced with FF in the last couple of years.

Yes, it does things easy for developers (and that's no small feat), but it makes browsing hell for the end-user.

As for what HTML5 can and cannot do, I believe you're already aware of this:

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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