Report: Apple, Android Products Likely Targets for Cybercriminals in 2011

Android and Apple operating systems are likely key targets for cybercriminals this year, according to Cisco's 2010 Annual Security Report.

Released Friday, the report says that scammers have begun shifting their focus from Windows-based PCs to other operating systems and platforms, including smart phones, tablet computers and mobile platforms in general.

Apple technology such as the iPad has been a recent target, according to the finding.

Plus, said Cisco threat research manager Scott Olechowski, "The relative youth of the Android OS, including its apps and ecosystem, combined with the sheer number of users will make this a very attractive platform for exploitation."

Cisco suggests that scammers are looking to new platforms since PC security has been improved over the years. The report states that also driving this shift is the widespread adoption of mobile devices and applications -- with third-party mobile applications in particular emerging as a serious threat.

A key tool for cybercrime is the exploitation of trust.

"Nowhere is this tactic more widespread than within social networking, where it continues to attract victims who are willing to share information with people they believe are known to them," the report states. "One noticeable shift in social engineering is that criminals are spending more time figuring out how to assume someone's identity, perhaps by generating e-mails from an individual's computer or social networking account."

The findings also suggest that 2010 was the first year in the history of the Internet in which spam volume decreased.

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