American security software company McAfee has released their prediction for the top threats that we might encounter next year. These threats will be coming from various devices and ecosystems and shows criminals becoming more and more creative in their attacks.
Not surprising though is that on top of the list are mobile threats. As the popularity of smartphones and tablets rises several criminals are also finding ways to capitalize on this by finding weak points in the system.
Some of the mobile threats we may encounter next year are as follows.
Malware Shopping Spree
We have already seen how this works through the Android/Marketpay.A Trojan horse. This type of Trojan buys apps from an app store without you even knowing about it. It’s kind of sneaky right? If any app developer wants to earn a lot then all they have to do is use this Trojan’s app-buying characteristics and add it to a mobile worm to infect smartphones/tablets thus increasing their sales.
Almost all high-end and most mid-level smartphone models will come with NFC support next year. What this technology does is it allows devices using this technology to communicate with each other by just tapping them together. This makes it easy to transfer data from one device to the other. One popular use of this technology is when making payments by using the “tap and pay” feature. An enterprising criminal will find ways to propagate a worm through NFC and steal their money. Imagine if a worm such as this spreads through a high dense area such as airports or malls, a lot of money will be stolen in the process.
Block That Update
If you got your mobile device from a network such as AT&T or Verizon then you are familiar with the update procedure of your device. The advantage of this is that once your mobile network recognizes a threat they can immediately send out updates to your device to eliminate it. A creative individual may find a way to block this update from reaching your device so that your device stays infected.
Aside from mobile threats we will also be seeing the Windows 8 platform to be targeted. McAfee reports that “Criminals go where the money is. And if this means they have to cope with a new, more secure version of Windows, that’s just what they’ll do. In many cases they attack the user and not the OS. Via phishing and other techniques users are tricked into revealing information or installing a malicious program. So if you upgrade, don’t rely solely on Windows to protect your system. Remain vigilant and watch out for phishing scams.”