The detection of new vulnerabilities will remain the major cause of virus epidemics in the future.

This is one of the findings of Kaspersky Labs' latest cyber-threat forecast for 2010. According to experts at the company, the vulnerabilities in operating systems are not the only way for a hacker to gain access to your computer. In 2009, cyber-criminals focused on tracking down vulnerabilities in the software developed by companies like Adobe, to breach a user’s security and make use of the compromised digital resources for their malicious intents and as we near mid 2010 – a similar trend can be seen.
In fact, hackers were relentless in trying to exploit popular applications last year, so as to implement denial-of-service attacks or create arbitrary codes to gain access to private or confidential information.
The most vulnerable applications during 2009 included:
* Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader;
* Adobe Flash Player;
* Adobe Shockwave;
* Apple Quick Time;
* Apple Safari;
* Mozilla Firefox;
* Opera Browser;
* RealNetworks RealPlayer;
* Sun Java; and
* Trillian.
This list of the most vulnerable applications proves that any user is actually a target of cyber-criminals and that users should always be cautious around security issues, no matter whether the applications used are trusted by millions of people all over the world.
“In June 2010 we are bound to see a massive explosion in the availability and adoption of mobile content as text, multimedia messaging based news services and mobile portals proliferate to provide news and content around the Soccer World Cup tournament to South Africans and visitors alike,” says Costin Raiu, chief security expert: EEMEA of the Global Research & Analytics Team at Kaspersky Lab. “As long as there are people with malicious intents and the urge to get access into your system, a user’s favourite applications will always be a target and 2010 will be no different, especially with the demand for rich high quality applications.”
Despite the threat to applications, this does not mean that users must delete the applications they use because of the fear of an attack – rather they should keep them updated and be aware of any security-related developments. Modern security solutions have leveraged cutting-edge technologies, like Sandboxing which can prevent breaches and key-logging activities.
“Though one can never be too safe, if a user is well-informed on the applications they use and on “how to avoid trouble”, they will at least maximize the chances of not falling into the traps of the digital world,” Raiu says.