Swing from Windows brings security threats
SECURITY| Feb. 21, 2011, 2:06 p.m.
IT security firm Kaspersky Lab says a proliferation of new operating systems will present new IT security risks for the rest of the decade, and privacy protection will become a key issue.
Kaspersky Lab this week released its forecast for the IT threat landscape for the period 2011-2020.
According to the company’ s analysts, the most significant trends of the last ten years (2001-2010) were:
- Mobility and miniaturization. Smaller and smaller devices can now access the Internet from virtually any point on the globe.
- The transformation of virus writing into cybercrime.
- Windows maintaining its leading position as a vendor of operating systems for personal computers.
- Intense competition in the mobile platform market with no clear-cut leader.
- Social networks and search engines – the primary services of today’ s Internet.
- Internet shopping – this sector already generates revenues that dwarf the annual budgets of some countries.
It says the defining feature of the next decade will be the end of Windows’ domination of user operating systems.
“ Though Microsoft’ s brainchild will remain the primary business platform, everyday users will have access to an ever-expanding variety of alternative operating systems. Notably, even now the number of devices accessing the Internet via Windows and non-Windows platforms are almost the same, with the latter even occasionally exceeding their Microsoft counterparts.”
It says the growing number of new operating systems will affect the process of threat creation: cybercriminals will not be able to create malicious code for large numbers of platforms.
This leaves them with two options: either target multiple operating systems and have many individual devices under their control, or specialize in Windows-based attacks on corporations. The second variant will probably appeal to them more – by 2020, targeting individual users will become much more complex because the emerging trend of making payments electronically and using online banking will continue, but biometric user identification and payment protection systems will become the norm.
The coming changes in operating systems and their specifications will affect virus writing techniques as these new systems evolve. Many cybercriminals who used to target Windows devices will have to become adept at exploiting the new-generation operating systems. To retain their ‘ place in the sun’ , today’ s cybercriminal will need to enlist the help of members of the younger generation who are capable of writing malicious code for the new platforms. However, this state of the affairs cannot prevail forever and we may well see ‘ turf wars’ between different hackers and hacker groups.
Kaspersky Lab says cybercrime in 2020 will almost assuredly divide into two groups. One group will specialize in attacks on businesses, sometimes to-order. Commercial espionage, database theft and corporate reputation-smearing attacks will be much in demand on the black market. Hackers and corporate IT specialists will confront each other on the virtual battlefield. State anti-cybercrime agencies will probably be involved in the process too and will have to deal predominantly with Windows platforms, in addition to the latest versions of traditional *nix systems.
The second group of cybercriminals will target those things that influence our everyday lives, such as transport systems and other services. Hacking such systems and stealing from them, making free use of them and the removal and changing of personal data about customers’ activities will be the main focus of attention of the new generation of hackers, who will make a living this way.
It also predicts that botnets, one of today’ s most potent IT threats, will evolve dramatically. They will incorporate more and more mobile and Internet-enabled devices, and zombie computers as we know them will become a thing of the past.
The tools and technologies used in the field of communications will undergo massive change. These changes will see greatly increased data transfer rates and enhancements that will make the virtual communication experience much closer to that of real-life: by 2020, communication via the Internet with the help of a keyboard will be the stuff of old movies, meaning spammers will need to seek out new ways of delivering their unwanted correspondence to addressees across the globe. The first step the spammers will take is to change from targeting desktops to mobile devices. The volume of mobile spam will grow exponentially, while the cost of Internet-based communications will shrink due to the intensive development of cellular communication systems. As a result, users will be less likely to worry about unwanted advertising material.
Kaspersky Lab concludes: “ The old adage ‘ Knowledge is power’ will be more relevant than ever before. The struggle for the means to collect, manage, store and use information, about everything and everybody, will define the nature of threats for the next decade. Therefore the problem of privacy protection will be one of the key issues of the decade.”
MORE SECURITY NEWS
Safe Deposit: Defeating cyber-attacks against banksWith online heists once again hitting the headlines, how should banks and their customers protect themselves against similar attacks? Read More
Large organisations gear up to address aggressive cyber-security business disruption attacksAlthough the frequency of a cyber-security attack on a large scale is low, by 2018, 40 per cent of large organisations will have formal plans to address aggressive cyber-security business disruption attacks, up from none this year, says Gartner. Read More
Identity and access management trends for 2015CA Technologies has identified five key trends for security and identity and access management (IAM) that will impact organisations and security professionals in 2015 as they compete in the application economy. Read More
Leading newspaper site hackedBotswana is seeing unprecedented cases of internet hacking with one of the latest attacks targeting one of the country’s leading private newspapers, Mmegi. Read More
Senegal hit by wave of cyber attacksSenegal has been hit by a wave of hackings in the past two weeks, two of which hit the popular news website Seneweb.com and ADIE. Read More
Cyber attacks may get more virulent, Cisco, Kaspersky warnCyber attackers are using more subtle methods to infiltrate corporate networks with the aim of stealing vital information or simply causing mayhem. This is according Kaspersky Lab and Cisco, who say IT security experts should up their game in educating users how to ward off potential attackers. Read More
SIM box task team steps up successes with help from ICT firmGhana’s efforts to crack down on SIM boxing fraud have been given a boost by the efforts of Subah Infosolutions Ghana Limited, which now partners with the authorities in the fight against this crime. Read More
Software vulnerability led to Ghana govt site hackA software vulnerability and failure to update software led to the hacking of some websites on the government of Ghana’s official portal. Read More
CBN issues directive on two factor authentication for internal banking processesThe Central Bank of Nigeria has issued a directive requiring all deposit money banks (DMBs) to implement two factor authentication for internal processes this year. Read More
SA: 57% could not recover money stolen in online fraudA recent survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International found that more than half of those respondents in South Africa who lost money in fraudulent online transactions did not get all – or sometimes any – of their funds back. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.