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Security experts predict rise in financial malware

McAfee identifies cybercriminals trying to cash in on economic downturn as top threat this year

Security research experts at McAfee predict that cybercriminals will continue to use the economic downturn to their advantage this year.

Scamming users with fake financial services, investment opportunities or legal services has been identified as the top threat for 2009 by the McAfee Avert Labs, the research arm of the company.

“The current economic crisis is delivering a blow to our financial well-being, while malware authors are taking advantage of our distraction to deliver a roundhouse strike,” said Jeff Green, senior VP of McAfee Avert Labs.

The company also expects the focus on web 2.0 applications such as social networking to continue, eventually displacing more traditional vectors of malware distribution.

This ‘global’ focus will see more threats and malware in languages other than English to access a larger pool of potential victims.