McAfee Labs predicts Windows 8 attack threats for 2012

The amount of threats to PCs and mobile devices continues to increase, according to a new paper released today by Intel-owned cyber security company McAfee. The paper, which can be read in full in PDF format, goes over those predictions which include an increase in malware attacks on mobile phones and an increase of rootkits that could affect PC operating systems, including Microsoft's Windows 8.

While the report does give credit to Microsoft for adding a number of security advancements to Windows 8, it adds that hackers who want to go after Windows 8 will develop bootkits and rootkits instead of more traditional attacks on operating systems. It states:

Rootkits are used to subvert both the operating system and security software, while bootkits attack encryption and can replace legitimate boot loaders. These are advanced techniques to intercept encryption keys and passwords, and even subvert driver-signing defenses employed by some OS’s. Attacking hardware and firmware is not easy, but success there would allow attackers to create persistent malware “images” in network cards, hard drives, and even system BIOS. We expect to see more effort put into hardware and firmware exploits and their related real-world attacks throughout 2012 and beyond. Advances in the Windows 8 bootloader security feature have already caused researchers to show how they can be subverted through legacy BIOS; meanwhile, the product has not even been fully released yet.

McAfee's report also goes over a number of other cyber threat predictions, including more attacks on mobile phone devices via malware and rootkits. It states:

In the coming year as developers and researchers develop new methods for rooting phones, we will see malware authors adapting the lessons of PC malware development to undertake attacks that leverage the mobile hardware layer to a greater extent. PC-based malware is increasingly moving further “down” the operating system (OS) to take greater advantage of hardware; we expect mobile malware to follow the same direction.

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"Rootkits are used to subvert both the operating system and security software, while bootkits attack encryption and can replace legitimate boot loaders."

Isn't this like what Microsoft expects... and why Microsoft wants OEMs to implement UEFI secure boot? That is supposed to prevent changes to the boot loader isn't it?

And these prediction are being made with an Alpha version of the OS?? I say its highly unlikely that MS would overlook security on their fist tablet OS. Mcfee its jumping the gun making predictions with a less than beta OS like most trolls around the net.

Mike Chipshop said,
What a surprise. Anti-virus company predicts more viruses. A bit like a snow plough company predicting snow.

Only difference is the snowplough company cannot produce the snow...

Well just a last not from nod32.

Version 4xxx was good but starting from version 5xx man it's diff and complicated for the server version and lacks of protection so stick with the last version of 4xxx.

McAfee is the worst piece of crap that I've eve seen in my time.
I work for a big firm in tobacco business and the worst problem and cpu usage.

I in my house use the nod32 business edition and from my last big company didn't have any probs at all.


Honestly, most malware for Windows 8 will be disabled with this simple switch: "Allow software installs from places other than the Windows Store?" And just set that to "NO", and you'll be good!

calimike said,
McAfee is sponsored by Intel

Intel bought McAffee a year or two ago, saying they wanted to develop hardware based AV. Exciting idea at the time but I think it was just a throwaway marketing line

Oh and, as for the article, haha McAffee are funny. Remember how they and Symantec tried to make Microsoft compromise kernel patch protection in Vista just so they didn't have to alter their own software? At a time when you could download avast! or AVG for free and run it on Vista 64 with KPP, Symantec and McAffee had to wait till SP1 to get new APIs...

Good times.

Oh noes, this is really important information. Better travel back in time and tell it to my grandfather before the Second World War starts.

As a future Windows 8 user, I will boycott the traditional desktop, which is still a huge intrusion vector for this sort of stuff. I'll be sticking inside Metro.

I predict that both McAfee AND Symantecs CEO's will still be clueless to the fact that anyone that does what I do for a living; removes both of those first thing; on any new computer we see.

Before Win7 was released, McAfee (or some similar company) said that Win7 would have horrible security holes. Oh, and you should buy McAfee products, it is the only way to be safe.

I also like this article blames root kits, etc as the cause of security. Linux people complain about secure boot features enabled in Win8. So don't use secure boot in the bios/os, buy a separate product (from McAfee of course) just to keep the oss people happy.

nohone said,
Before Win7 was released, McAfee (or some similar company) said that Win7 would have horrible security holes.

So we should hope they're wrong again now?

"McAfee Labs predicts Windows 8 attack threats for 2012" -> This is like saying I predict the sun will rise tomorrow. Really?

~Johnny said,
Well, to be fair, they do have legit researchers who know their stuff

They do, but to be fair, I think they are just butthurt that Windows 8 will incorporate the better Microsoft Security Essentials as Windows Defender and the need for their bloated products will disappear.