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The Next Generation of Cyber Threats

Online scammers are getting craftier, and a major economic slump could make the threat they pose to businesses even nastier. What sorts of strategies will they use? Top Layer's Ken Pappas sees smaller but still-dangerous botnets, sneakier social engineering tricks, and continued growth in SQL injection.

With each passing year, hackers come up with new ideas, or variations of past ideas, to combine technology and social engineering to deceive users and attack networks for their financial benefit. The mid-2000s saw the proliferation of botnet attacks used for spam, targeted attacks and worse, while 2007 and 2008 have seen the rise of SQL injection attacks and other Web site exploits as hackers increasingly focus on social networking sites to target millions of users.

What's on the threat horizon in 2009? Well, several factors -- including a severe recession, easier ways to commit cybercrime, and continued growth of social networking online -- will create for a unique year of threats once again. Hackers will continue to study human behavior -- reactions to e-mail, Web and other social media attractions -- to determine these areas of vulnerabilities.

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