McAfee Predicts Rapid Evolution of Cyberthreats in New Year

  McAfee Predicts Rapid Evolution of Cyberthreats in New Year

   2013 Threat Prediction Report Examines Key Trends in Mobile Ransomware,
                      Large-Scale Attacks and Hacktivism

Business Wire

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- December 27, 2012

McAfee today released its annual 2013 Threat Predictions report, highlighting
the top threats McAfee Labs foresees for 2013. Using its proprietary Global
Threat Intelligence (GTI), the McAfee Labs team analyzed data on malware,
vulnerabilities and online threats in 2012 to predict which trends will
increase in 2013. In the coming year, McAfee Labs expects that threats to
mobile devices will become even more of a focus of cybercriminals, the
influence of the hacktivist group “Anonymous” will decline, and large-scale
attacks that attempt to destroy infrastructure will increase.

“Cybercriminals and hacktivists will strengthen and evolve the techniques and
tools they use to assault our privacy, bank accounts, mobile devices,
businesses, organizations and homes,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice
president of McAfee Labs. “Our 2013 Threat Predictions provides the general
public, governments and businesses not only with the top risks in the year to
come to be aware of, but also the preventative measures that should be taken
to avoid those risks from occurring. Only by understanding and preparing for
threats, can we empower people to secure their information.”

McAfee Labs foresees the following trends for 2013:

Rapid Evolution and Growth in Mobile Malware

In 2012 McAfee Labs saw the number of mobile threats increase dramatically as
ransomware expanded into mobile devices. The development and deployment of
increasingly sophisticated ransomware technologies that will “lock up” a phone
or tablet, and threaten to keep it that way until a ransom is paid, will be a
prominent trend in 2013. The harsh reality of these schemes is that users have
no way of knowing if their device will be unlocked even if they do meet the
perpetrator’s demands. Since attackers hijack the users’ ability to access
data, victims will be faced with either losing their data or paying a ransom
in the hope of regaining access.

A new mobile worm will go on a major shopping spree in 2013. The
Android/Marketpay.A Trojan horse program buys apps without user permission. In
2013 cyber-crooks will take this malware’s app-buying payload and add it to a
mobile worm so attackers won’t need victims to install a piece of malware. In
addition, mobile phones with NFC-enabled “digital wallets” are an easy target
for cyber-thieves. Attackers will create mobile worms with NFC capabilities to
steal money via the “bump and infect” method, most commonly used in areas with
dense populations like airports and malls.

Hacktivism - The decline of Anonymous

Due to many uncoordinated and unclear operations and false claims, the
Anonymous hacktivist movement will slow down in 2013. Anonymous’ level of
technical sophistication has stagnated and its tactics are better understood
by its potential victims, and as such, the group’s level of success will
decline. While hacktivist attacks won’t end in 2013, if ever, they are
expected to decline in number and sophistication.

Nation states and armies will be more frequent actors and victims of
cyberthreats. Patriot groups self-organized into cyberarmies have had little
impact up until this point, but their actions will improve in sophistication
and aggressiveness. In 2013, many more of the world’s military units will be
on the front line of social networks communicating more frequently.
State-related threats will increase and make the headlines while suspicions
about government-sponsored attacks will grow.

Crimeware and Hacking as a Service Expand

Cybercriminals are notorious for going onto public forums to make business
deals with other criminals in to offer not only software, but also hacking as
a service. As the number of invitation-only criminal forums requiring
registration fees is increasing to make forums more secure and anonymous,
these offers will be easier to find on the Internet in 2013.

Citadel will become the Trojan of choice among cybercriminals- with the recent
release of Citadel Rain, the Trojan can now dynamically retrieve configuration
files, enabling a fraudster to send a targeted payload to a single victim or a
selection of victims. Detection will become more difficult as the footprint on
the endpoint is minimal until the attack actually occurs.

Big-Scale Attacks Increase

Recently, McAfee Labs has seen several attacks in which the only goal was to
cause as much damage as possible- a behavior that is expected to grow
exponentially in 2013. If attackers can install destructive malware on a large
number of machines, the result can be devastating. To keep the business
running, production networks and SCADA industrial control systems should
remain completely separate from the normal network, to prevent it from getting
hit in the first place.

For a full copy of the 2013 Threat Predictions report from McAfee Labs, with
additional threats, please visit:
http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/rp-threat-predictions-2013.pdf

About McAfee

McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), empowers
businesses, the public sector, and home users to safely experience the
benefits of the Internet. The company delivers proactive and proven security
solutions and services for systems, networks, and mobile devices around the
world. With its Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to
hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global Threat Intelligence network,
McAfee is relentlessly focused on keeping its customers safe.
http://www.mcafee.com

Note: McAfee is a trademark or registered trademark of McAfee, Inc. in the
United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as
the property of others.

Contact:

Zeno Group for McAfee
John Moore, 215-657-4971
John.Moore@zenogroup.com
or
Zeno Group for McAfee
Stephanie Chaney, 312-222-1758
Stephanie.chaney@zenogroup.com
 
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