With Microsoft Patched, Hackers Turning Elsewhere

More hacking targets iTunes, antivirus wares (CNET)

Online criminals turned their attention to antivirus software and media players like Apple Computer’s iTunes in the first three months of 2005, as they sought new ways to take control of peoples’ computers, according to a survey released Monday. Hackers continued to poke new holes in Microsoft’s popular Windows operating system, but they increasingly exploited flaws in software made by other companies as well, the nonprofit SANS Institute found.

As more Windows users agreed to receive security upgrades automatically, hackers looked to take advantage of other software programs that might not be patched as frequently, according to the leader of the cybersecurity training and research organization. “Operating systems have gotten better at finding and fixing things and auto-updating, so it’s less fertile territory for the hackers,” said SANS Chief Executive Alan Paller.

Malicious hackers exploit security holes to lift credit card numbers and other sensitive personal information from PCs, and they commandeer computers to send out spam and pornography.

Damn that Bill Gates for fixing his software!

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bachbone says:

    If hackers’ new targets are wise, they will fix weaknesses quickly, not wait months or years as did Microsoft. With the complexity of today’s software, flaws are certain to crop up even in Microsoft. Not correcting them promptly, however, is inexcusable and possible only when one controls the large market share Microsoft has.