Windows 8 Is the Next Big Malware Target

December 27, 2012

Windows 8 should provide improved security against malware and exploits compared with earlier versions of Windows — at least for a while. The underground market for attack and malware kits is much more competitive than it was three years ago. It is likely that Windows 8-specific malware will be available more quickly than Windows 7-specific malware appeared as hackers attempt to find vulnerabilities in this new target.

Even with improved security features, there are potential vulnerabilities:

  • Systems running the new Unified Extensible Firmware Interface are still vulnerable to Master Boot Record (MBR) based rootkits, just as previous OS versions were.
  • On the day Windows 8 was released, a firm announced a zero-day vulnerability that circumvents all new security enhancements in Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10.
  • Perhaps the biggest threat is tied to user behavior. In many cases, attacks target the user and not the OS. Via phishing and other techniques, users are tricked into revealing information or installing a malicious program.

Bottom line: Stay vigilant and don't rely solely on Windows security features to protect systems. For more insights into Windows 8, read our blog post 8 Facts You Should Know About Microsoft Windows 8.