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‫ Four predictions for security in 2012

IRCRE201112086
Date: 2011-12-31
Malicious Android apps will increase
As a target for malicious software, Android is the Microsoft of the mobile platform. Android has more than 50 percent of the smartphone market, eclipsing all others, so it's the most attractive platform for scammers to target. While iPhone apps get vetted by Apple, Google's open apps store model, which lacks code signing and a review process, makes it easy to distribute malware in apps.
The numbers bear this out. In the last six months, the number of malicious Android apps has doubled to 1,000, a report from mobile security firm Lookout says. Granted the vast majority of the malware -often disguised as legitimate apps- is found on third-party sites. But some malicious apps have made it to the Android Market. Google yanked about two dozen apps containing malware in May and nearly 60 malicious apps in March. That's not counting the nearly 30 apps pulled in December that appeared to be designed for fraud.
Google moves quickly when problems are reported, but removing apps after-the-fact means there may be users who have downloaded them already. To be fair, the likelihood that the average Android user will encounter malware is very, very slim because most people avoid third-party sites where they are required to allow apps from unknown sources to be downloaded, and are thus assuming the risk.
Another utility will get hacked
Hacking of corporate and government networks happens all the time. Now that SCADA systems used in utilities and other critical infrastructure environments are being connected to the Internet, without the built-in security that traditional information technology networks have, it should come as no surprise that hackers will make their way in to areas where they conceivably could cause real harm to the environment and people.
The first wake-up call for the industry was the Stuxnet malware that emerged last year that appeared to have been designed to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. Then a leaked report in November appeared to be the first acknowledgement of a cyberattack on a U.S. critical infrastructure system, but the Department of Homeland Security denied that there had been an attack and ultimately it turned out to have been a false alarm.
However, an unnamed hacker claimed to have remotely breached a system at a Texas water plant, as well as systems in Europe. It's clear hackers are targeting these sensitive and critical systems, for whatever reason. Given how easy it is to find SCADA equipment with just a Google search, all the holes the SCADA systems seem to have, and that researchers say it is relatively easy to exploit the weaknesses, you can expect more attacks on critical infrastructure systems in the coming year. Whether they will make it to the news or be kept a secret, is another thing.
People will continue over-sharing despite the privacy ramifications
We have become a society of sharing to the detriment of our personal privacy.
Social media provides a way for us to share every aspect of our life with people, from where we went to school to what restaurant we're dining at tonight to who our friends are. The ego prompts us to accept all the friend requests and seek more followers, and to bombard them with more details of our lives than anyone needs to know. We also are unknowingly revealing sensitive information.
Companies like Facebook are offering increased integration so that our activities on the site and elsewhere are automatically shared with others. So now we can see what music our friends are listening to and what articles they are reading right now. But advertisers are privy to more information about us collectively. Many people don't care if they see ads targeted to their tastes and lifestyle.
Companies need to better explain the privacy implications of the new features they offer, but consumers need to be asking themselves questions before they push "post," such as "Do I care if people I don't know or enemies are able to see this?"
Hacktivists will become more active
There's no doubt that 2011 can be called the Year of the Hackers. The Anonymous movement and its offshoots, notably LulzSec, gained fame and notoriety for their denial-of-service attacks and data breaches on a host of targets. From Sony and the CIA to bankers, police officers, and Fox News, the attacks were a daily occurrence for months. With the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street protests, Anonymous actions became more organized and focused on a cause--political protest of financial inequality and corporate influence--and inclusive, online and offline.
The Anons, as they call themselves, have ownership in the larger political movement and could provide the technical skills and online organization needed to even create a new party.

It seems that 2012, is a more active year for this group of hackers.

Source: CNet.com


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