Forbes recently released 2009’s `Most-Hacked Software’ list. The list names the software and applications that were biggest targets of hacker attacks in 2009. The software used most by hackers and other cyber criminals to sneak into your system and cause havoc.
Here’s over to the 7 Most Hacked Software of 2009.
1. Adobe Reader: This year’s Most hacked software belongs to (no not Microsoft) Adobe. Adobe Inc’s popular software Adobe Reader is the most hacked software of the year. Security firm iDefense reportedly tracked as many as 45 bugs in the Adobe Reader programme this year. The number is up from 14 in 2008 and seven in 2007.
Security experts feel that Reader being a universally used programme makes it highly vulnerable. Also, its complex code base offers a high risk of flaws.
2. Internet Explorer: At No. 2 on the Most Hacked Software list is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Little surprising that the browser with majority marketshare (almost 65%) is hot on hackers and scammers target list. According to the news report, IE’s complex code base with no shortage of bugs helps hackers.
Security researchers found 30 bugs in IE this year, almost the same number as last year and way down from 49 found in 2007.
3. Mozilla Firefox: The open source browser Mozilla Firefox is the year 2009’s third Most Hacked Software. Closest rival to Internet Explorer with approximately 25% marketshare, recorded an increase in vulnerabilities this year.
Researchers and cybercriminals found as many as 102 bugs in Firefox this year, an increase of 12 bugs vi-a-vis last year’s 90 bugs. Wondering what makes its more vulnerable than IE which showed 30 bugs? Remember, the two cannot be compared directly as Firefox is an open-source programme and Mozilla publicly reveals all its bug finds.
4. Adobe Flash: At No. 4 on the Most Hacked Software list is Adobe’s popular design software Flash, commonly used for viewing animations and movies. The report found 11 vulnerabilities in the programme this year, down 8 from 19 last year.
According to the report, the vulnerabilities pose a potential danger as the software used for viewing videos and animation requires no interaction with the user to infect the machine with malicious software.
5. Apple Quicktime: Next on the hit-list of hackers is Apple Quicktime, a multimedia framework used for handling various formats of digital video, media clips, sound, text, animation and music. Though Apple talks about immunity from bugs in its machines, however, security experts feel that relative security comes from its low marketshare and not careful coding.
According to the report, 26 bugs were found in Quicktime in 2009, down 10 from 36 found in 2008. The number looks high compared to mere 3 found in Windows Media Player.
6. Microsoft Office: At No. 6 is another Microsoft software, Microsoft Office. IDefense tracked 41 bugs in Microsoft’s popular suite of apps in 2009, down from 44 in 2008. According to the report, hackers many a times use Microsoft Office applications like PowerPoint, Excel or Word document to plant malicious code.
7. Windows: Another Microsoft software on Most Hacked Software list is at no. 7. The company’s Windows-based operating system continue to be top on hackers radar. Experts believe that the fact that Windows vulnerabilities can be exploited without a user actually doing anything makes the software hacker-prone.
For example the Conficker worm spread to over 7 million PCs last year without requiring a user to visit a website, or open an attachment or actually do anything else, other than just leave their computers running.