2013 security threat predictions

The decline of hacktivism

The Anonymous hacktivist movement is predicted to slowdown in 2013, due to its loose and unclear operations.

McAfee says the groups technical sophistication has "stagnated" which will cause its level of success to decline.

State related threats are expected to increase and make headlines as more people will become suspicious about government-sponsored attacks.

Hacktivists attacks won’t end in 2013, but McAfee predicts that they will decrease in number and their level of sophistication.

Mobile Malware increases and gets smarter

McAfee reported that in 2012 the number of mobile threats significantly increased as ransomware branched out to mobile devices.

Ransomware technologies cause a phone to "lock up" a mobile device and threaten to keep the device in that state until a ransom is paid. The security firm predicts that these types of schemes will increase this year.

The Android/Marketpay Trojan is also predicted to become dominant this year. The Trojan horse programme purchase apps without the user’s permission. McAfee predicts cybercriminals will join the app Trojan with a mobile worm so victims won’t even have to unknowingly install a piece of malware.

Mobile phones with NFC-enabled digital wallets will be an easier target for cyber-thieves.

Hacking becomes a paid service

Cybercriminals are predicted to receive an increase in requests for their hacking services. Many operate on public forums with other criminals to offer software and hacking services. However, criminal forums are becoming more secure and anonymous, and many are increasingly becoming invitation only. The increased assurance of anonymity will mean that these offers will be easier to find online in 2013.

Large scale attacks will increase

McAfee predicts that attacks in which the goal is to cause as much damage as possible to organisations, will increase in 2013.

The security firm advises for businesses to keep production networks separate from the normal network to avoid being hit.

Mcafee says that if attackers can successfully install malware on numerous machines, the result could be devastating.

"Cybercriminals and hacktivists will strengthen and evolve the techniques and tools they use to assault our privacy, bank accounts, mobile devices, businesses, organizations and homes," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs.

"Only by understanding and preparing for threats, can we empower people to secure their information."


Type: White Paper


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