Prepare to deal with more advanced persistent threats as well as malware that simultaneously hit PCs and mobile devices in 2013, according to a report from Fortinet Inc., which makes unified threat management solutions.
The top six security predictions for 2013 of the Sunnyvale, Calif-based firm are:
- We’ll see more advanced persistent threats much like Stuxnet, Flame and Gauss, hitting civilian targets like celebrities, company CEOs and political figures. Since targets are not directly linked to military and or government agencies, attackers will likely be looking for information they can use for criminal activity such as blackmail, according to the report.
- Expect the demise of password-only security mechanisms. Since attackers can now easily download cloud-based password cracking tools for as low as $20, FortiGuard predicts an increasing number of companies will start using some form of two-factor authentication for their personnel and clients. This will likely involve a web-based login which requires a user password and a secondary password that will be provided to the user via the user’s mobile device or a standalone security token.
- The year 2013 will likely be the first instance where attackers will hack into appliances and devices that are capable of machine-to-machine communication. M2M technology can be found in many devices including surveillance cameras that cross check photos with a database of known suspects and medical equipment that regulate oxygen intake for patients based on the individual’s heart rate which is collected by another machine. Fortnet foresees attackers hitting national security targets by “poisoning information streams” that pass through M2M channels.
- As adoption of sandboxing becomes a more widely employed security technology, attackers will launch exploit codes that can circumvent sandbox environments. The most likely targets in 2013 will be security appliances and mobile devices
- Cross platform botnets such as Zitmo will become more widespread in the coming year. Since many divergent platforms now share many features, FortGuard predicts that 2013 will see an increase in new forms of denial of service attacks that will simultaneously hit both PC and mobile structures.
- Growth of malware written for mobile devices will close in on those for PCs and laptops. Historically malware have been directed against PC because the devices have been around for so long. But the number of new mobile devices continues to explode making them the ideal target of attackers.