Top of the potshots

Apparently it's that time of the year again, when normally sane security researchers stand in line to volunteer their services as hostages to fortune. Yes, ‘tis the season for crystal balls. (No, that isn't a country and western singer: I'm talking about security prognostication.) Here beginneth my own personal countdown.

10. Between now and mid-January, there will be a mad scramble among security vendor researchers to name an upcoming threat against which only their own products are fully capable of providing a defense.

9. That will be followed by an equally mad rush to the exit as anti-malware researchers are asked to predict what form the next Stuxnet derivative will take, and whether that should be called cyber crime or cyber warfare. At this point, I was going to coin the word cybertage with satirical intent, only to discover that it already exists. Clearly there is no insult a security researcher will not inflict upon the English language.

8. Someone will notice resemblances between Duqu, Stuxnet, Conficker, Storm, Happy99, Concept, Brain and Elk Cloner, and conclude that they were all written by the same person under the pseudonyms Rich Skrenta, Ashar, Dark Avenger and J. Edgar Lawnmower.

7. Someone else will agree that there are resemblances, but claim that's because they were all written by an elite team of anti-virus programmers.

6. Security companies will coin at least three new three-letter acronyms (TLAs) that basically mean “targeted attack that only our technology can detect.”

5. There will be more Android malw..... No, that's just too easy.....

4. There will be more Facebook likejacking and survey sca..... No, that's even more obvious.

3. How about “Facebook will show due concern for the privacy and welfare of its users?” No, who'd believe that? Still, everyone loves a bold prediction except the sucker who made it.

2. Someone will invent a product that really does render the anti-virus industry obsolete, but no one will notice because everyone is too busy predicting the death of the anti-virus industry.

1. I will take the whole of December and January as sabbatical in the hope that no one will ask me my predictions for 2013.

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