Every year, I hold on to the belief that we’ve seen the worst that cyber-criminals can throw at us – so I’m always hopeful, that the outlook for the coming year might offer some improvement. As the years go by, inevitably it seems, my hopes have been dashed.
The Internet, despite its promises (many of which have come to pass, admittedly), has become a cesspool of cyber criminals (who continue to belittle us), scam and fraud artists, and worse. A cesspool that reeks of tainted search engine results, malware infected legitimate websites, drive-by downloads and bogus security software. And now it seems, we’re approaching the point where anarchy might well begin to rule the Internet.
The recent WikiLeaks kafuffle, with its counter play DDoS attacks pitting supporters against non-supporters, is a singular indication of how quickly the Internet can devolve into anarchy. No matter the views one may hold politically, with respect to the WikiLeaks disclosures, the use of hacktivism as a political tool is a worrisome trend.
PandaLabs, in its just released predictions covering the top security trends for 2011, is predicting an increase in the type of hacktivism the WikiLeaks conflict has pushed into the spotlight. Moreover, PandaLabs report paints a dismal picture of how the Internet threat landscape is likely to shift and change, in the coming year
According to PandaLabs, in addition to a new focus on hacktivism and cyber-war; more profit-oriented malware; social media; social engineering and malicious codes with the ability to adapt to avoid detection will be the main threats in the coming year.
Continued growth of new strains of malware creation
2010 marked a turning point in the cyber war, and PandaLabs expects more of the same in 2011
Cyber-protests, or hacktivism (e.g. Anonymous), are all the rage and will continue to grow in frequency
Social engineering will increase as cyber criminals increasingly use social platforms to launch distributed attacks
Windows 7 users will become a significant target for malware in 2011
Mobile security will be a top concern for Android users
As tablets gain market share, so will their appeal to be targeted by cyber criminals
As the market share of Mac users continues to grow, so will the number of threats
HTML5 will be the perfect target since a security hole can be exploited regardless of the browser
Highly dynamic and encrypted threats are expected to increase, given the financial incentive for information on the black market
Being aware of the shape of the Internet landscape, and the changes that are occurring, or may occur in that landscape, now, more than ever, is a necessity – a prerequisite to protecting yourself and your computer from cybercriminal attack. Forewarned is forearmed, needs to be your guiding light – appropriate knowledge will act as your shield.
Since 1990, PandaLabs, Panda Security’s malware research laboratory, has been working to detect and classify malware in order to protect consumers and companies against new Internet threats.
To do so, PandaLabs uses Collective Intelligence, a cloud-based proprietary system that leverages the knowledge gathered from Panda’s user community to automatically detect, analyze and classify the more than 63,000 new malware strains that appear every day.
This automated malware classification is complemented through the work of an international team with researchers specialized each in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and other attacks) to provide global coverage.
Get more information about PandaLabs and subscribe to its blog news feed here.
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