GTISC Releases Emerging Cyber Threats Forecast

The Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC), a national leader in information security research and education, today announced the release of the GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2008. As the inaugural edition of this annual forecasting report, the GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2008 outlines the top five areas of security concern and risk for consumer and enterprise Internet users for the coming year. The report was released at the annual GTISC Security Summit on Emerging Cyber Security Threats and Countermeasures - a gathering of industry and academic leaders from organizations with a stake in protecting the online user community including Google, the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, the National Security Agency (NSA), IBM Internet Security Systems (ISS), McAfee, Secure Computing, S.P.I. Dynamics, Inc. and Symantec.

For 2008, GTISC is forecasting five key areas in which cyber security threats are expected to increase and evolve:
- Web 2.0 and Client-Side Attacks - including social networking attacks and new attacks that will exploit Web 2.0 vulnerabilities
- Targeted Messaging Attacks - including Instant Messaging attacks and malware propagation via online video-sharing
- Botnets - specifically the spread of botnet attacks to wireless and peer-to-peer networks
- Threats Targeting Mobile Convergence - including voice spam, vishing and smishing
- Threats to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Systems - evolving and varied threats in this emerging technology sector

Financial gain will continue to be the primary motivator behind all five emerging threat categories. As the rapid rate of application development for cyber mediums continues to outpace information security technologies and countermeasures, GTISC advocates closer coordination between the security industry, carriers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), application developers and the user community to begin closing the security gap in 2008. Representatives from the organizations that participated in the GTISC Security Summit contributed to the development of this report.

"As newer and more powerful applications enabled by technologies like Web 2.0 continue to grow, and converged communications applications increasingly rely on IP-based platforms, new challenges will arise in safegaurding these applications and the services they rely on," said Mustaque Ahamad, director of GTISC. "The GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2008 highlights those areas of greatest risk and concern, particularly as continued convergence of enterprise and consumer technologies is expected over the coming year. We wish to thank the esteemed members of the GTISC Security Summit panel who assisted us with the creation of this report."

More than 200 corporate executives, industry leaders and technologists from across the country attended the GTISC Security Summit on Emerging Cyber Security Threats and Countermeasures Summit, keynoted by Dr. Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google. Following Cert's address on the continued research and development needs to secure the multi-layered systems of the Internet, Summit panelists engaged in a lively discussion moderated by Chris Rouland, chief technology officer of IBM Internet Security Systems and IBM distinguished engineer. The panel discussion helped educate the audience on the proliferation of cyber threats, including those listed in the report, and highlighted possible countermeasures to safeguard the user and business communities.

To view the entire GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats for 2008 report and for more information on GTISC, please visit http://www.gtisc.gatech.edu. To watch a pre-recorded Web cast of the event, please visit http://www-static.cc.gatech.edu/streaming/gtisc.

About Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC)
The Georgia Tech Information Security Center, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, is an interdisciplinary center involving faculty from the College of Computing, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Public Policy.

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