“With target audiences so large, financing mechanisms so convenient, and cyber-talent so accessible, robust innovation in criminal technology and tactics will continue its surge forward in 2014,” said Vincent Weafer, SVP, McAfee Labs. “The activity in mobile and social is representative of an increasing ‘black hat’ focus on the fastest growing and most digitally active consumer audiences, in which personal information is almost as attractive as banking passwords. The emergence and evolution of advanced evasion techniques represents a new enterprise security battlefront, where the hacker’s deep knowledge of architectures and common security tactics enable attacks that are very hard to uncover.”
According to McAfee, PC malware has remained steady over the past two quarters, yet Android malware has spiked by 33 per cent. The company thinks that, as consumers and businesses increasingly adopt mobile technologies, attackers will target ransomware at mobile devices and corrupt valid applications to mine for information.
The spike in ransomware will also be caused by the increased popularity of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin – these currencies can be collected anonymously, which provides adversaries with ample opportunity to get away with their attacks.
Social media will be another vehicle for cyber attacks: McAfee says adversaries will use social attacks to capture passwords and information about users’ location, contacts, and business activities. Enterprises will also increasingly resort to “reconnaissance attacks” to gather user and organizational data to gain strategic advantages.
Additionally, McAfee predicts that attackers will exploit vulnerabilities in HTML5 and turn their focus to cloud-based enterprise applications, and that they will adopt advanced evasion techniques to do so.
The full report can be found on McAfee’s website.
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