Internet Security Threats to Watch for in 2013

security threatsSecurity breaches can show themselves in various forms as cyber criminals steadily become more sophisticated with their attacks on a national security and consumer level. There are even more opportunities for cyber attacks in 2013. Here, we detail 4 Internet Security Trends you can expect to see in 2013, as discussed in a recent article on CNET.com.

1. Privacy Threats

Smart devices are capturing the average consumer’s activities and contact data in addition to their location; this is seen by many to be a violation of privacy. Malware targeting mobile and Mac devices has resulted in data mining and breaches due to poorly written security codes that will continue to threaten the privacy of consumers in 2013. In the U.S., a million people were adversely affected by mobile malware in 2012.

2. Cyber Warfare

The foundation for the Internet being used as a international surveillance monitoring resource by the government will continue to develop in 2013 for military and espionage activities. “Olympic Games” is the secret inter-government project reported to be the root source of computer malware like Flame, Dugu and Stuxnet, and its variant, Gauss. According to CNET, Stuxnet is a highly sophisticated computer worm that has been identified as the first cyber super weapon. Since Stuxnet’s discovery, eighty-five percent of malware has attempted to capitalize on a specific weakness in these systems in the same way that Stuxnet has done in the past. There is a small batch of malware that can attack vulnerabilities in an operating system before a developer has time to discover and repair it, and is known as a “zero-days” attack.

3. Desktop threats

A commercial rootkit known as ZeroAccess is another serious threat that has spread like gangrene; almost being comparable to the damage done by Conficker that made headline news for several weeks. A Russian coder has developed and sold ZeroAccess to boot before Windows; once it is installed, it hides the attacker’s invasion and allows him or her to gain privileged access to the infected computer, and possibly other machines shared on the network. As a counterattack, Macs and Windows 8 have setup Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot security procedures to prevent rootkits from invading a PC. However, hackers may soon be able to form mutations of rootkits to reach their aims in the future. Other desktop concerns for Internet users to be wary of include Flashback Trojan and CSS sniffing attacks. The creator of Flashback Trojan has still evaded capture and is rumored to be working on other malware tactics to breach Mac security. Modern browsers such as Firefox or Chrome are extremely vulnerable to CSS sniffing attacks. If you download one of them, there is the possibility of being exposed to spyware through these popular desktop programs.

4. Cloud-based Cyber Attacks

For people relying heavily on cloud-based services to store, pictures, valuable documents or entertainment collections recent hacking of Apple cloud-based accounts raises concern about cloud storage.

In summary, new app stores and browser techniques have to be developed to combat computer worms, like Stuxnet, that will likely have to be replaced when undetected vulnerabilities are discovered. Devices directly connected to the Internet, such as smart DVD players and TVs will open up a new can of worms in 2013. The volume and method of medical and utility device hacks are expected to grow in impact. Still, if someone attempts to run a toll fraud application in the U.S. they will encounter more of an issue there than they would in China or Russia. With increased improvements in security, the majority of people will not be affected from this problem until the latter part of 2013.

This entry was posted in Cyber Warfare, Information Security. Bookmark the permalink.