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Cybercriminals Have More Than Just Windows in their Crosshairs

SAN JOSE, Calif. – March 27, 2013 – Online threats that target multiple platforms are predicted to flourish, and F-Secure's scanning technology and expert staff are uniquely positioned to deal with them.

The recent attacks on Macs at Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft served as reminders that cybercriminals have more than just Windows in their crosshairs. And targeting two or more platforms at a time, already routine for adware and spam, is becoming more common for malware. Using cross-platform languages like Java, cybercriminals write malware that, having compromised a website, can discern what operating system a website visitor is using and then drop a malware file, display ads, redirect to a fraud website, or otherwise attempt to monetize, depending on the platform.

"Writing attacks that target more platforms is smart business for criminals - they might as well hit as many users as possible," said Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure Labs. "Why stop with just Windows when you can hit Mac, Linux and mobile too?"

Unique platform-agnostic technology, expertise

Cross-platform threats demand cross-platform defense, which F-Secure’s scanning technology is uniquely built for. F-Secure’s Hydra scanning and detection engine and its URL reputation database are platform agnostic. When a user visits a website, the database checks whether the site is reputable. Once a threat has been realized, it is recognized no matter what platform a site is accessed from. When the user visits a compromised site, the Hydra engine kicks in and blocks threats that would be cross-platform, such as those that exploit Java.

“F-Secure’s protection for Windows, host to the largest malware system, gives it excellent visibility of the crimeware economy as a whole, helping to better protect Mac and mobile too,” said Sean Sullivan, Security Advisor at F-Secure Labs. “Our view is of the whole sea of malware, not just a pond.” As an example, Sullivan cites the attacks against Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. “In our testing, related Java exploits were blocked because our detections are generic and based on the vulnerability, not the specific sample.”

“Not all online security companies have the same capabilities,” commented Sullivan. Companies that focus only on Mac or mobile are limited in their ability to respond to cross-platform threats. Some vendors split their PC and mobile technology, such as in cases where a PC security vendor acquires a mobile vendor and then must integrate that technology with their own.

F-Secure Labs are filled with response analysts majoring in cross-platform expertise. Mac and Android specialists are also Windows experts. Certain analysts are dedicated to studying cross-platform languages such as Java.

Not only that, F-Secure's experience in cross-platform protection goes back to 2001, with the advent of its mobile security. "We have been doing cross-platform engine technology and platform-neutral backends longer than anyone else," stated Hypponen.

For F-Secure’s all-in-one protection for PCs, smartphones and tablets, visit http://www.f-secure.com/en/web/home_us/internet-security-mobile-security?icid=518

F-Secure – Protecting the irreplaceable

While you concentrate on what is important to you, we make sure you are protected and safe online whether you are using a computer or a smartphone. We also backup and enable you to share your important files. Our services are available through over 200 operators around the world and trusted in millions of homes and businesses. Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.

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For more information, please contact:

Melanie Lombardi
LEWIS PR for F-Secure
+ 1 (415) 432-2400
F-SecureUS@lewispr.com