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What were the greatest risks online in 2010?

While I was reading Trend Micro’s blog (http://blog.trendmicro.com/2010s-most-dangerous-list/) I felt compelled to share it with our readers and give you my comments on it as well.

I’ll skip the hardware section as I’m sure not many of us use the German Identification card reader.

The first section I’ll comment on is Website Software. Here they list WordPress as the riskiest software used by websites in 2010. Is it really the riskiest? Or are the unpatched, non-updated sites the riskiest?

Trend Micro’s blog does state that tens of thousands of unpatched WordPress blogs were used by cybercriminals. So they do differentiate there. But as far as I’m concerned, there is other website software that is a greater risk than WordPress. At least WordPress is patched on a continual basis.

Something like osCommerce might be riskier. It hadn’t been updated in awhile and because it’s used for ecommerce, the hackers have more to gain by infecting osCommerce sites than they do a blog – don’t you agree? Wouldn’t stolen credit cards be a greater risk than infecting a blog?

I know that quite often the hackers are after infecting PCs and the best way of accomplishing that task is through the browser via websites, but if they can get a frequently used ecommerce site and just steal the information there, they don’t even have to worry about the circumventing the anti-virus protection on a PC.

Granted, there are probably more outdated WordPress blogs than there are vulnerable ecommerce sites, but is that really riskier?

The next category in the Trend Micro blog was IP (Internet Protocol). Here they list Internet Relay Chat (IRC) as the riskiest protocol. Again, I don’t totally disagree with them, but their reason is that 30% of all botnets used IRC to communicate with infected machines. Does that make it a greater risk?

Is IRC something that should be blocked by most firewalls? I belive so. But to classify it as the riskiest IP, I’m not sure I buy into that. If you go with their logic for listing WordPress as the riskiest software because it’s used most often by hackers, then why isn’t HTTP the riskiest IP? That’s how most infections happen is through infected websites.

This next category is sure to get a rise out of my friend Danny and my brother-in-law.

The riskiest operating system, according to Trend Micro’s research was…Apple’s Mac OS X. Again, as much as I’d like to jump up and cheer at the top of my lungs, it just isn’t going to happen.

I agree that many Mac users feel they’re impervious to infectious websites because “I have a Mac” and that this thinking alone makes many Mac users more prone to infection, I can’t agree that this is the riskiest operating system.

I enjoy my canned response when someone with a Mac tells me they never worry about viruses since they have a Mac. I reply with, “Without any way of detecting it (since rarely do they have an anti-virus installed on their Macs) how do you know?”

That’s just me being me. But I still can’t agree with Trend Micro.

My last disagreement with them is their pick for the most infectious website – Google.

What?

The rulers of the Internet (I say that with the utmost respect for Google) are the most infectious website? I don’t agree. Trend Micro’s research states that “It’s tremendous popularity led cybercriminals to target it specifically for blackhat SEO-related schemes…”

Just because you’re popular and used by cybercriminals for their nefarious schemes doesn’t make you risky. With that thinking in mind, I might list the Detroit Redwings website as the riskiest.

Do we need more Redwings fans? I think not! (This is totally based on my lifelong love affair with the Blackhawks and nothing more.)

The last category I’ll comment on is Social Network. Trend Micro’s research lists Facebook. They say, “Facebook could be considered the most dangerous social networking site around.”

Here, I agree. Think of how much time is wasted by people snooping into other people’s lives. Think of how much time people spend on Farmville. What if we got everyone to focus on a cure for cancer during their usual time of playing on Farmville.

Come on, let’s rally the troops here and cure cancer.

Next, for a special certain someone, we’ll knock out AIDS – worldwide. (That would prevent a trip to Africa.)

After AIDS, we’ll cure ALS. All this with time spent playing Farmville. After ALS we’ll have to cure racism, prejudging and hatre, just to make it a perfect world.

Now I realize that many aren’t going to agree with my disagreements -but that’s the beauty of the Internet. You can voice your opinion and in the end we can agree to disagree.

What’s your opinion?

Please share it.

Thank you.

5 Responses to What were the greatest risks online in 2010?

  1. Melissa says:

    I for one think the latter concerns are completely justifiable. And while I do use Facebook regularly, I do not particiapte in Farmville. I try to follow the online suggestions sent by my very informed father.

  2. MPH says:

    On the point about curing AIDS, it would be great if every social/health issue could be effectively addressed via the internet, however, some things require physical presence in order to make a difference. When considering Africa in particular, a continent with sometimes shoddy access to technology at best, getting to the hard-to-reach places is what will ultimately make the biggest difference. The places with the best access to technology is where diabetes-focused health education should be focused. Clearly, a completely different matter altogether…we’ll leave that for another discussion.

  3. Denise says:

    Having just read the same article, I actually laughed at Google being the top most dangerous website. I’ve used Google ever since they first hit the market, and I very rarely use any thing else. I have never encountered any problems from the site. Nor have I had any problems with WordPress. Everything boils down to common sense. Everything that you use to either connect to the internet, or use while on the internet (browsers, firewalls, anti-spyware, software, etc.) should be updated regularly.

  4. I can only go by what I observe… nothing based on hard fact. Those in a position to gain the most information about users would seem most likely to use “computer use patterns” for profit and gain despite their privacy policies. Only those with an extraordinary amount of time would know anything substantive about Facebook or Google’s privacy policy’s. Most of us are consumers… we trust the good faith of the commercial ventures doing business in our culture. Unfortunately, it seems we are more easily targeted for purposes we’d find compromising than we think. I gotta say Google probably has more on any of us than anyone else. Privacy is one thing… but malicious intent is another.

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