Security researchers at Symantec have published their predictions on information & security for year 2013. These 5 predictions explains what we should expect and will happen for the coming year. Also, these predictions are fact based and data driven. Top 5 security predictions are collection of Ideas, opinions & thoughts given by hundreds of information security professionals. After gathering the Ideas, opinions and thoughts Symantec reviewed the ideas, argued a lot and finally tried to provide real insights which would represent the future scenario and Predictions of threat landscape.
Before reading the article I tried to list out my predictions and they were Social Network Threats, Cyber was between hacktivists and Government organizations and Android threats. When I compared my predictions with Security Predictions released by Symantec for year 2013 I analyzed that somehow my opinions and thoughts were relevant.
In upcoming year2013, Cyber Conflicts between nations, Organizations, Minority groups and individuals is going to play key role. Hactivists and organized groups of individuals will continue to use sophisticated cyber tactics in attempt to damage and gather the personal & secure information.
An interesting prediction done by Symantec is nation states, organizations, and even groups of individuals use cyber attacks to show their strength and “send a message”. In addition, Attacks on individuals and non-government organizations, such as supporters of political issues and members of minority groups are predicted in year 2013.
Ransomware is the new Scareware
Ransomware (also referred to in some cases as cryptoviruses, cryptotrojans or cryptoworms) comprises a class of malware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed. In 2012, a major ransomware worm known as Reveton, also nicknamed the “Police Trojan”, began to spread.
Security researchers have predicted that Ransomware goes beyond attempting to fool its victims; it attempts to intimidate and bully them. In 2013 Security predictions, attackers will use more professional ransom screens, up the emotional stakes to trap victims, and use methods that make it harder to recover once compromised.
Mobile adware, or “madware,” is a nuisance that disrupts the user experience and can potentially expose location details, contact information, and device identifiers to cybercriminals. When a user downloads a suspicious app to mobile, Madware sneaks onto the device and sends pop-up alerts to the notification bar, adds icons, changes browser settings, and gathers personal information.
The number of apps including the most aggressive forms of madware has increased by 210 percent in past nine months. Location and device information can be legitimately collected by advertising network and it helps them target users with appropriate advertising. This approach includes aggressive and potentially malicious monetization of “free” mobile apps.
Risk associated with Social Networks
Sharing personal details on Social Networks is quite obvious. Gifting money, buying games credits etc. are few activities where a user share his personal and financial information. Symantec 2013 security prediction states fake gift notifications and email messages requesting home addresses and other personal information is going to be monetized and providing non-financial information might seem innocuous, cybercriminals sell and trade this information with one another to combine with information they already have about you, helping them create a profile of you they can use to gain access to your other accounts. Hence better co-ordination among Cyber criminals is also predicted.
Users shifting to mobile and cloud, so will attackers
Attackers will follow their targets everywhere and mobile device adoption by users as well as attacker is one of them because Rapid increase in Andriod malware in year 2012 acknowledges this.
Some mobile malware duplicates old threats, like stealing information from devices. But it also has created new twists on old malware. Security Predictions for Year 2013 will also raise concerns on SSL infrastructure on Mobile applications and browsers as mobile Internet usage is being handled by unsecured mobile applications, which brings additional risk to the table, such as man-in-the-middle attacks.
Early Prevention Techniques
It is essential for users to prepare themselves accordingly in order to prevent such future oriented fraudulent attacks. Prevention techniques are quite easy if you follow them and you’re ready to spend few minutes of your time to secure your personal and financial information. A common and yet effective myth among users is ‘Oh! This will not happen to me’. So if you think this way then this is the time to change it and this is the First and very effective prevention you would ever get.
- Install a popular Anti-virus and Anti-malware program and keep it updated with latest signatures.
- Regularly update the applications installed on your PC and Mobile. If Automatic updating feature is present for applications, enable it forever.
- If your system contains important & critical data then It is recommended to install a Firewall on your system. It might irritate you in early days of installation but on the other hand it will ensure that not even a single byte of data is going outside from your System without your permission.
- Never Click on any suspicious links doesn’t matter what it claims.
- Apply maximum security to your Social Network Profile and never share Personal information with people and via apps and games.
- Always Log out when you’re done.
- Avoid using Geo locations and tagging until it is necessary. If you’re sharing your geo-location then keep it with only trusted people.
- Report everything suspicious to Abuse & Support team and spread awareness about the same on your network.
- Mobile users needs to be more careful and follow all the above mentioned recommendations wherever possible.