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Hackers expected to focus on Google and Apple in 2011

As it assesses the forthcoming threat vectors for 2011, IT security giant McAfee is predicting that Internet TV platforms, in particular Google TV and Apple TV, will be high among the list of targets for emerging threats in 2011. In fact, McAfee say that its list comprises 2010’s most talked about platforms and services, including not just Apple TV and Google TV but also Google’s Android, Apple’s iPhone, foursquare, and the Mac OS X platform. These are all expected to become major targets for cybercriminals as they get more popular.

Focusing on potential privacy leaks from TVs, McAfee says that new Internet TV platforms were among some of the most highly-anticipated devices in 2010. Due to the growing popularity among users and “rush to market” thinking by developers, McAfee expects an increasing number of suspicious and malicious apps for the most widely deployed media platforms, such as Google TV. McAfee believes that these apps will likely target or expose privacy and identity data, and will allow cybercriminals to manipulate a variety of physical devices through compromised or controlled apps, eventually raising the effectiveness of botnets. With Internet-enabled TVs getting close to matching smartphones or low-powered computers in their technical abilities, it’s only a matter of time before they are exploited in some way, and many of the possible vulnerabilities of connected TV and IPTV services have only just begun to emerge. It is likely we’ll learn more about the risks as time progresses.

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