2 min read

Security Warning 2008: Top 11 Malware Threats To Watch Out For

Here's a heads-up on the evolving security threats we can expect to see in the coming year, including emerging menaces such as badvertising, adsploits, anti-social networking, lieware, and whaling

In 2007, there was a lot of "rogue anti-virus software," which is sometimes also referred to as "fake anti-virus software." But these terms are confusing because there's too much negation going on. Fake anti-virus software is not anti-virus software at all. So what is it? "Lieware" is a much less unwieldy term to describe software that purports to be something that it isn't. With only 420 mentions in Google, the term has nowhere near the recognition of "adware" or "spyware." But thanks to the growing need for anti-virus products, we're sure to see more lieware trying to trick its way onto our systems.

Spham or Spamble

Security researchers foresee a rise in spam targeting mobile devices, particularly via SMS. Although the unappealing term "blogging" has given rise to the even more unappealing "moblogging" (blogging on a mobile device), "mospam" just doesn't work. While some have proposed "spamble" as shorthand for gambling spam, the term also has potential to suggest spam received while ambling about with a mobile device. "Spham" offers a more straightforward way to mix spam and phone, though the fact that it sounds the same as "spam" when spoken may limit its appeal. (Yes, you could emphasize the "h" and say "sp-ham," but people would just wonder whether the cause of your odd pronunciation was contagious.)


Everyone in the computer security business is familiar with backdoors and backdoor Trojans. In 2008, "backdoor," heretofore an adjective or noun, has a shot a being promoted, like the word "google," to verb. Here, in a hypothetical conversation with your company's chief security officer is how it might be used: "You were backdoored? Has anyone spoken for your office?" The reason for this is the success of malware like the Zlob backdoor Trojan, which security researchers expect to see much more frequently in the year to come.

Patch Fix

The patch fix is the patch that fixes the last patch. It may seem redundant, like "pizza pie," but given the number of patches that create more problems and subsequently have to be patched, redundancy appears to be necessary to compensate for the absence of code quality.