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Top 10 Malware Threats of 2013

Updated on May 20, 2013
Malware threats in 2013
Malware threats in 2013 | Source

For many people in the world today, the internet has become part of their daily lives. This cannot be better explained than through the interactions made possible through mobile devices as well as the computers. the kind of actions that an individual may be engaged in any single day include; web surfing, streaming videos, online banking, social media, work and many more activities.

Owing to the fact that many people have their lives hinged on the internet, there is need to protect data, devices and yourself from malicious software. Cyber crime has been on the increase. There are reports of numerous attacks and the advent of different forms of malware each passing day. The severity of the attacks grows bigger and wider as more and more attacks are poured onto internet users. The malware and threat landscape continues to evolve with threats becoming sophisticated and increasing substantially.

Malware is best described as software or applications which have been developed with malicious intent. Malware is always installed into a computer without your consent. The most common types of malware are spyware, viruses, Trojan horses, worms, logic bombs, root kits backdoor, key loggers among other forms.

Malware is intended to compromise computer systems, steal data and to gain access to private accounts such as bank details and to take possession of the accounts. Even though the sophistication of cyber crime accounts for the high success rates, internet users are not doing enough to protect themselves.

2012 was the year of cyber warfare. They were very big security stories especially with the sophisticated attacks reported in the Middle East. The attacks were designed to sabotage and even corrupt SQL databases unlike many attacks which are specifically done to steal data from the networks and other infrastructure. These were attacks of nation against nation. Reported attacks such as Stuxnet, Skywiper or Flamer and Niralam caused great damage.

Malware Threats in 2013

Fast track to 2013, the emerging threats are slightly different but still within the conventional areas of cyber crime.

Mobile devices

Mobile devices provide a real headache to network administrators and security experts. Smartphones and the tablets present a perfect avenue for hackers to access networks at work places, businesses and the corporations. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model provides access to the internet at the workplace off the smartphones or tablets. Policies and measures need to be put in place to protect networks and seal vulnerable spots.

Social media

Social media has been area exploited by cyber criminals. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer easy avenues in targeting internet users. Hackers have unwittingly or forcefully taken over social media accounts belonging to organizations, famous personalities and used them to perpetrate their unlawful deeds. The hacked social media profiles have been used to breach network security, exploit trust among social media followers among other many actions.

Online banking

The online banking sector has not been spared either by hackers and cyber criminals. Online banking has been targeted with the use of Trojans such as SpyEye and Zeus. The capability of the Trojans is in social engineering exploits and the drive by downloads and attacks. The result is internet users end inadvertently providing personal information used to authorize transactions and steal funds.

Macs are equally targeted

Malware aimed at the apple computers has been on the rise this year. The most commonly used vulnerability is in software which is compatible with both the Mac and the Windows operating systems. The compatible software makes it easy to perform the cross platform attacks. Mac users are no longer in the era of no security measures. Care and caution has to be taken more seriously.


Android provides such a big catchment which hackers cannot ignore. The fake apps have been used to get sensitive information, steal data and even send out expensive SMS to steal money from unsuspecting android users. Careful steps should be taken to protect yourself from the cyber attacks.


Blackhole will continue to present problems to authorities and the security vendors after surviving concerted effort to bring it down. The exploit kit has been used to target all the different systems including Windows, Mac OS and even Linux by using vulnerabilities identified in software.


Ransomware continue to present problems and has proven not easy to abandon for hackers. Perhaps the major reason why is due to continued proliferation of diverse platforms and technologies.

Size doesn’t matter

Small- and mid-sized organizations are equally targeted by cyber criminals as low value targets. Even these smaller organizations carry information which is targeted by the cyber criminals. The attacks might not be as common as seen with the large organizations but they are happening.

Integration, privacy and security challenges

New opportunities for cybercriminals to compromise our security or privacy have presented themselves especially with technologies such as GPS and NFC (near field communication). These technologies integrate applications and even devices. They have been the target of cyber criminals as well.

Best Antivirus to Tackle Malware Threats in 2013

It is the prerogative of cyber security personnel, network administrators and individual internet users to understand the major types of malware to facilitate making of informed decisions to protect your computer. To prevent infection, the use of up to date antivirus software, suitable firewall on your computer is important. Install the latest updates for all installed software and always keep your operating system updated. As a final step, ensure that caution is practiced when surfing the internet to avoid suspicious and unknown websites.


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