Web 2.0: a growing target for hackers

Social networking sites, RSS feeds, wikis, blogs and other web 2.0 application are firmly in the sights of hackers for 2007, according to predictions from web security company ScanSafe.

The company said in its predictions for 2007 report that the increasing use of web 2.0 sites has made them "an irresistible target for malware authors".

It said in August, the ScanSafe Threat Centre found that up to one in every 600 social-networking pages hosted malware and in recent weeks, malware on Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube had also been exposed.

It said that constantly changing user-contributed web pages and traditional web filtering technologies that relied on URL databases and honeypots cannot keep up with the dynamic content that characterises web 2.0 sites.

It said that it is concerned over the potential for abuse of Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and web 2.0 applications. "Cross-site scripting worms (XSS), for example that can insert malicious code into dynamically generated Web pages could allow an attacker to change user settings, access account information, poison cookies with malicious code, expose SSL connections and access restricted sites," the company said.

As reported on IT PRO last month, virtual world Second Life fell victim to an in-game virus called "the Grey Goo" which dragged the game's databases to a halt as it spread through the system when users touched golden rings placed within the game.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.