Social networks will enable highly targeted and personalized spam by phishing for username accounts and/or using social context as a way to increase the “success rate” of an online attack. In 2009, we expect an upgrade in spam to the use of proper names, sophisticatedly segmented according to demographic or market. The upgraded spam will resemble legitimate messages and special offers created from personal information pulled from social networks and may even appear to come from a social networking “friend.” Once a person is hit, the threat can easily be spread through their social network. Enterprise IT organizations need to be on the alert for these types of attacks because today’s workforce often accesses these tools using corporate resources. The battle against Internet security threats will continue to rage on and tactics on both sides will become more sophisticated over time. Although no one can be certain of what the future holds, we can look back and learn from our past to identify trends that can help make educated predictions for where future attacks may be heading.
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