As the new years looms, all kinds of firms start making predictions, mostly to boost their sales next year, I will be looking at a number of firms predictions for next year, a lets see how smart they are this time next year.
1. The end of the Internet as we know it? – Secure Labs predicts that the ITU WCIT in Dubai could mean the end of the Internet (which I covered here and here). Sean Sullivan, Security Advisor at F-Secure Labs says that the World Conference on International Telecommunications, could have a major impact on the Internet as we know it. “The Internet could break up into a series of smaller Internets,” Sullivan says. “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.”
rb- WCIT has concluded with the US and most of Europe refusing to sign the treaty due to language backed by Russia and China that could have large ranging impacts on Internet freedom.
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,” says 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.
3. Commoditization of mobile malware will increase – The Google (GOOG) 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,” Sullivan says. 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 – First it was Mac Defender and then Flashback that attacked Apple (AAPL) Macintosh’s. According to the article, the Labs predict 2013 will bring another Mac malware outbreak that will have some success within the Mac community. Sullivan says. “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. will become a hacker target – Smart TVs are wide open to attacks. “It’s very easy for hackers to scan for smart TVs on the Internet,” says 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 speculates the author. There has already been growth in child safety apps that monitor kids’ activities, such as, their Facebook behavior. “Of course this kind of software can also be used to spy on anyone, not just kids,” Sullivan says. “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 (AMZN). 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 (BKS). “Closed ecosystems are more secure, but you have to trust the provider to protect your privacy,” says Sullivan.
Do you think F-Secure’s Top 7 Security Predictions for 2013 are right?