What were the greatest risks online in 2010?

They list WordPress as the riskiest software used by websites in 2010. Is it really the riskiest? Or are the unpatched, non-updated sites the riskiest?

Trend Micro’s blog does state that tens of thousands of unpatched WordPress blogs were used by cybercriminals. So they do differentiate there. But as far as I’m concerned, there is other website software that is a greater risk than WordPress. At least WordPress is patched on a continual basis.

Something like osCommerce might be riskier. It hadn’t been updated in awhile and because it’s used for ecommerce, the hackers have more to gain by infecting osCommerce sites than they do a blog – don’t you agree? Wouldn’t stolen credit cards be a greater risk than infecting a blog?

Quite often the hackers are after infecting PCs and the best way of accomplishing that task is through the browser via websites, but if they can get a frequently used ecommerce site and just steal the information there, they don’t even have to worry about the circumventing the anti-virus protection on a PC.

Granted, there are probably more outdated WordPress blogs than there are vulnerable ecommerce sites, but is that really riskier?

The next category in the Trend Micro blog was IP (Internet Protocol). Here they list Internet Relay Chat (IRC) as the riskiest protocol. Again, I don’t totally disagree with them, but their reason is that 30% of all botnets used IRC to communicate with infected machines. Does that make it a greater risk?

Is IRC something that should be blocked by most firewalls? I belive so. But to classify it as the riskiest IP, I’m not sure I buy into that. If you go with their logic for listing WordPress as the riskiest software because it’s used most often by hackers, then why isn’t HTTP the riskiest IP? That’s how most infections happen is through infected websites.

The riskiest operating system, according to Trend Micro’s research was…Apple’s Mac OS X. Again, as much as I’d like to jump up and cheer at the top of my lungs, it just isn’t going to happen.

Many Mac users feel they’re impervious to infectious websites because “I have a Mac” and that this thinking alone makes many Mac users more prone to infection, I can’t agree that this is the riskiest operating system.

I enjoy my canned response when someone with a Mac tells me they never worry about viruses since they have a Mac. I reply with, “Without any way of detecting it (since rarely do they have an anti-virus installed on their Macs) how do you know?”

That’s just me being me. But I still can’t agree with Trend Micro.

My last disagreement with them is their pick for the most infectious website – Google.


The rulers of the Internet (I say that with the utmost respect for Google) are the most infectious website? I don’t agree. Trend Micro’s research states that “It’s tremendous popularity led cybercriminals to target it specifically for blackhat SEO-related schemes…”

Just because you’re popular and used by cybercriminals for their nefarious schemes doesn’t make you risky. With that thinking in mind, I might list the Detroit Redwings website as the riskiest.

The last category I’ll comment on is Social Network. Trend Micro’s research lists Facebook. They say, “Facebook could be considered the most dangerous social networking site around.”

Here, I agree. Think of how much time is wasted by people snooping into other people’s lives. Think of how much time people spend on Farmville. What if we got everyone to focus on a cure for cancer during their usual time of playing on Farmville.

Come on, let’s rally the troops here and cure cancer.

Next, for a special certain someone, we’ll knock out AIDS – worldwide. (That would prevent a trip to Africa.)

After AIDS, we’ll cure ALS. All this with time spent playing Farmville. After ALS we’ll have to cure racism, prejudging and hatre, just to make it a perfect world.

Now I realize that many aren’t going to agree with my disagreements – but that’s the beauty of the Internet. You can voice your opinion and in the end we can agree to disagree.

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Thomas J. Raef

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ListFree.org (Press Release) - Monday, January 3rd, 2011

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