McAfee has put out its annual threat predictor list for 2011 and the security expert said the Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad and geolocation apps that include check-in services will be emerging threats in 2011.
Apple has long touted its Mac products as not having viruses like PCs and some of this is how the system was created but most of this was because it had a relatively low market share so virus makers targeted the larger audience.
That’s not the case with the iOS products, as the iPhone has been a smash hit among mainstream users and it’s even getting into the enterprise market. The iPod touch and iPad are also very big seller, which is why McAfee believes these will sooon be targeted:
Historically, the Mac OS platform has remained relatively unscathed by malicious attackers, but McAfee Labs warns that Mac-targeted malware will continue to increase in sophistication in 2011. The popularity of iPads and iPhones in business environments, combined with the lack of user understanding of proper security for these devices, will increase the risk for data and identity exposure, and will make Apple botnets and Trojans a common occurrence.
While check-in services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places offer easy ways for users to share their location with friends. McAfee sees this as a security threat, as malicious cybercriminals can use this wealth of information to craft personalized attacks.
The security company also said that mobile operating systems in general will be bigger targets. This makes a lot of sense because these handsets are quickly becoming small computers in our pockets and more and more people are buying smartphones.
While smartphones are generally more locked up that PCs, hackers will still be able to craft malicious content. Lookout just identified a sophisticated Android virus which is making its way through third-party app stores.