In 2013 the cybercrime industry, chased by an increasingly dynamic and vigilant security industry, has shifted its modes of operation, targeting new users and platforms as well as focusing on hacktivism and online exploitation.
This is according to Trend Micro’s threat report, examining the global state of the Internet nation.
“The Trend Micro Smart Protection Network figures highlight how virulent this issue has become,” says Gregory Anderson, country manager at Trend Micro South Africa. “In August 2013 alone, they blocked 2,817 threats per second with an average of 2,797 threats per second in this quarter.”
According to the RSA Anti-Fraud Command Centre (AFCC) mobile will become the leading cyber battleground in 2014 and already that trend is in play. September 2013 saw the number of malicious and high-risk apps targeting the Android platform reaching the one million mark with a noted rise in Apple-related phishing sites and attacks.
Over 40-billion apps downloaded from the App Store since inception makes it obvious as to why.
Phishing scams remain a popular catch for the mobile user along with social media scams and fake video player updates. The last quarter has seen an unpleasant increase in fake Twitter accounts and social engineering lures using terms such as Obamacare, Summer Movies, Whatsapp and Ender’s Game. Welcome to the new identity crisis as social accounts are hacked and online lives overtaken.
“Around 27% of malicious and high-risk apps came from app stores and cybercriminals have found ways of ‘updating’ legitimate apps with malicious code,” says Anderson. “Mobile devices are vulnerable to information theft when infected with premium service abusers and these are still the top mobile threat this quarter.”
Almost 96% of premium service abusers can access and delete data on your SD card, 48% can access your contact list and 86% can send out predefined messages. Cybercrime is not waning, however; the Trend Micro report does point out that the publicity surrounding it has finally made the internet sit up and pay attention.
The world is not prepared for the influx of zero-day exploits and attacks that will come into play in 2014, and corporates are battling with a workforce that still doesn’t grasp the scale of the issue and legacy security systems. It is time to prepare the corporate frontier because things are about to get interesting.