Top 10 security threats of 2010

Mariposa was a sign of good things to come in terms of takedowns in the botnet sphere. Whilst such malicious networks had undoubtedly been causing havoc before 2010, but this year law enforcement really upped its game.

Bredolab was certainly one of the largest botnets ever seen, having over 30 million systems in its grasp.

In a high point for police and the IT security industry at large, Dutch police disconnected 143 servers which were helping run the botnet. Subsequently, Armenian police arrested a man believed to be the mastermind behind the operation.

6. Mac threats

2010 was surely the year when security professionals tried their hardest to dispel the myth that Macs are impenetrable machines. This was highlighted by a number of specialist Mac security offerings launched this year, including those from McAfee and Panda Security.

The latter released a report indicating Mac OS vulnerabilities had increased more than five-fold in less than a year. Elsewhere, a Mac version of the infamous Koobface worm was discovered for the first time.

The evidence indicated Mac users are indeed safer than PC users, but what is clear is that hackers will go where the users are. As the number of Apple acolytes escalates, so will the number of threats facing their systems. The same goes for other operating systems and machines as well.

5. Facebook scams

As expected, social networks were a big target for cyber criminals in 2010. Facebook, being the most popular such service, was always going to be a hotbed for scammers trying out their luck.

One of the more concerning threats emerged at the start of the year, when hackers posed as Facebook officials to obtain user login details.

Many scams were based around celebrities one of them focusing on a picture of a supposedly aroused Justin Bieber. Others looked to entice the slightly more disturbed minds on Facebook, offering particularly macabre content.

It's depressing, but expect to see this kind of threat sticking around as hackers have discovered they can make money from surveys that users are directed to as they hunt for seedy content.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.