Security firm identifies top exploits of 2010

Adobe Reader and IE are top hacker targets

M86 Security Labs has issued a report ranking the most hacked software for the first half of 2010.

The report indicated that industry efforts to update and patch vulnerable software meant that online attacks were becoming less successful. However hackers were finding new combination exploits to inject attacks through firewalls. 

Internet Explorer exploits made up five out of the top 15 exploited vulnerabilities cited by the M86 Security Labs report while a further four were attributed to Adobe Reader. Other targets for hackers in the top 15 list were Real Player, AOL SuperBuddy and Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer. 

The company noted that most of the exploits had been reported more than a year prior and had already been patched. The fact these old exploits still dominated the top 15 goes to underlining how Internet users are still failing to correctly patch their computer software in a timely manner.

The M86 report also indicated that JavaScript and ActionScript hacks were on the rise, particularly in order to circumvent security software. Another rising trend involved Java vulnerabilities. 

The report also said that 2010 spam output remained extremely high as the networks of compromised PCs or "botnets" still operated "largely unimpeded", the five largest of which were responsible for 75 per cent of all spam.

Pharmaceuticals, unsurprisingly, constituted 80 per cent of the subject of all spam while spammers are using new mechanics such as PDF attachments to exploit vulnerabilities in IE and Adobe Reader. 

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