Friday, February 25, 2011

Botnets grow and attacks will evolve

Cybercrime Outlook 2020 From Kaspersky Lab

Websites hiding malware will evolve, as will botnets and the sophistication of attacks.

The depressing news form part of
Kaspersky's 2011-2020 cybercrime outlook report, which not only tells us what's happening now but predicts what we can expect in the year 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; making wireless networks the most popular method of connecting to the web.

•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.

Back to now, it seems cyber criminals are moving away from sites that offer up illegal content such as pirated films and music, and onto sites that offer us services such as shopping and gaming. These attacks will often catch those who are too too au fait with technology, using a hidden piece of Java code, which runs and redirects to malicious websites.

That's not all we have to worry about with the company also claiming that within the next nine years, we'll see some major changes that will affect the way we use PCs and the way hackers target us.

According to Kaspersky they have two ways of doing this. They can either make a weaker operating system their target, or specialise in Windows-based attacks on corporations.

This leads nicely into the next prediction that cybercrime by 2020 will be split into two groups.

The first will specialise in attacks on businesses, sometimes to order. They will include commercial espionage, database theft and corporate reputation-smearing attacks, all of which will be in demand on the black market.

Kaspersky predicts "hackers and corporate IT specialists will confront each other on the virtual battlefield."

The second group will target what influences our everyday lives, such as transport systems and other services as well as stealing personal data.

As we become more evolved with technology and look at new ways to communicate without keyboards, spammers will have to work harder to send out those pesky mails. They'll do it though, with Kaspersky claiming 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."

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