The profit motive has never been greater for cybercrooks to take control of a PC to hijack online accounts and commit identity theft. Yet most people don't realise the degree to which their favourite software applications have come under assault, say security experts. Cyberintruders are increasingly on the hunt for vulnerabilities in popular software applications â€” and no longer just Microsoft's. As operating systems become more secure, cybecrooks are moving up the application layer attacking Office, iTunes or RealPlayer.
Critical security holes have been turning up in Web browsers, anti-virus programs, word processors, spreadsheets and digital media players. Apple has issued patches for vulnerabilities 35 times since January 2005, including 12 this year. Numerous have been flaws in iTunes and QuickTime digital media software. Strangely enough, Apple are keeping rather tight-lipped.