F-Secure's Top 7 Predictions for 2013 (If the Internet as We

F-Secure's Top 7 Predictions for 2013 (If the Internet as We Know It
Still Exists) 
SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/12/12 --  A seismic shift in who
controls the Internet? Another Mac malware outbreak? Smart TVs being
highjacked for a DDoS attack? Whatever 2013 may bring, it's sure to
be an interesting year. F-Secure Labs shares its expectations on what
will be in store. 
1. The end of the Internet as we know it? 
"Depending on the outcome of an important conference taking place now
in Dubai, a lot of things could happen in 2013," said Sean Sullivan,
security advisor at F-Secure Labs. That event, the World Conference
on International Telecommunications (WCIT), could have a major impact
on the Internet as we know it. "The Internet could break up into a
series of smaller Internets," continued Sullivan. "Or it may start to
be funded differently, with big content providers like Facebook and
Google/YouTube having to pay taxes for the content they deliver." 
The WCIT event is a meeting convened by the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) to finalize changes to the
International Telecommunications Regulations treaty. In attendance
are regulators representing governments from around the world, not
all of whom are interested in Internet freedom. There is concern that
some regimes would want to shift control of the Internet "from the
geeks, and give it to governments," stated Sullivan. New measures are
also being proposed in the name of Internet security that privacy
advocates suggest would mean the end of anonymity on the Internet.  
2. Leaks will reveal more government-sponsored espionage tools 
"It's clear from past leaks about Stuxnet, Flame, and Gauss that the
cyber arms race is well underway," said Mikko Hypponen, chief
research officer at F-Secure Labs. While we may not always be aware
of nation-states' covert cyber operations, we can expect that
governments are more and more involved in such activity. In 2013,
we'll most likely see more leaks that definitively demonstrate this,
and from countries who haven't previously been seen as a source of
attacks. As the arms race heats up, the odds of leaks increase. 
3. Commoditization of mobile malware will increase  
The Android operating system has solidified in a way that previous
mobile operating systems haven't, extending from phones to tablets to
TVs to specialized versions of tablets. The more ubitiquous it
becomes, "the easier to build malware on top of it and the more
opportunities for criminals to innovate businesswise," commented
Sullivan. Mobile malware will become more commoditized, with
cybercriminals building toolkits that can be purchased and used by
other criminals without real hacking skills. In other words, malware
as a service, for Android. 
4. Another malware outbreak will hit the Mac world 
2011 saw scareware called Mac Defender, and in 2012 Flashback took
advantage of flaws in Java. The Labs predict 2013 will bring another
Mac malware outbreak that will have some success within the Mac
"The author of the Flashback Trojan is still at large and is rumored
to be working on something else," said Sullivan. "And while there
have been smart security changes to the Mac OS, there's a segment of
the Mac-using population who are basically oblivious to the threats
facing Macs, making them vulnerable to a new malware outbreak." 
5. Smart TVs will become a hacker target 
Smart TVs are plugged into the Internet, they've got processing
power, and since they typically aren't equipped with security,
they're wide open to attacks. Adding to their vulnerability is that
unlike home computers, many smart TVs are directly connected to the
Internet without the buffer of a router, which deflects unsolicited
traffic. Also, consumers often don't change the factory default
username and password that have been set for web administration,
giving easy access to hackers. 
"It's very easy for hackers to scan for smart TVs on the Internet,"
said Sullivan. "When found, they only need to use the default
username and password, and they're in." 2012 already witnessed
LightAidra, a breed of malware that infected set top boxes. 2013
could see smart TVs being used for such purposes as click fraud,
Bitcoin mining, and DDoS attacks. 
6. Mobile spy software will go mainstream 
2013 may see a rise in popularity of tracking software, and not just
for parental control purposes. There has already been growth in child
safety apps that monitor kids' activities, for example, their
Facebook behavior. "Of course this kind of software can also be used
to spy on anyone, not just kids," shared Sullivan. "The more
smartphones there are, the more people will be seeking out software
like this -- to find out what their ex is up to, for example." 
7. Free tablets will be offered to prime content customers 
Tablets and e-readers are all the rage, and more and more often in
closed ecosystems such as the iPad with iTunes or the Kindle with
Amazon. As the Kindle price keeps dropping, the Labs predict that
2013 may bring a free e-reader or tablet for prime customers of
companies who charge for content, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
"Closed ecosystems are more secure, but you have to trust the
provider to protect your privacy," stated Sullivan. 
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Press contact: 
Melanie Lombardi
LEWIS PR for F-Secure
+ 1 (415) 432-2400
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