turk-internet.com: What can you tell us about the most popular cyber threads of 2011? What are the trends in cyber security area right now and how do you expect them to be in 2012?
- We saw the development of a cybercrime landscape dominated by ‘steal everything’, i.e. the theft not only of narrowly financial data, but all kinds of information that can be used to profile individuals and the companies they work for. This has occurred largely off the back of the massive increase in social networking.
- A gradual increase in targeted, rather than speculative, attacks.
- An exponential growth in mobile malware and, in particular, malware targeting Android.
- The theft of digital certificates to legitimise malware.
- Further technical advances, such as 64-bit rootkits, bootkits and BIOS-level infection.
Speaking about the development of cyber threats in 2012, the risks that we are going to face are as following:
- Targeted attacks against organisations and governments bodies, continuing the trend we have seen in 2011. The main objective is for financial gain but also to disrupt and cause loss of reputation. To combat this security both physical and IT must be raised against the highly motivated hackers.
- Mobile malware will grow much faster than in 2011. Malware for the Android platform will prevail but we will see attacks on other platforms. Cybercriminals will continue to look for new ways to monetize from the increasing use of smartphones. For example, If NFC technology takes off, enabling us to use our phones as money, there is potential security risk there – although nothing has been demonstrated clearly yet.
- Privacy will be a hot topic in 2012. More and more companies are gathering users data – as shown in the recent CarrierIQ program. This will not just affect smartphones. As we do more and more on social networks, and put more information online, it will be a rich source for companies but also for cybercriminals.
turk-internet.com: Cyber surveillance have recently became a hot topic. Especially with WikiLeaks publishing the Spy Files… We see that there are plentiful private contractors supplying surveillance technologies for governments. How do you see this?
Kaspersky Lab: The fact is that the Internet now pervades every aspect of modern life for individuals, businesses and governments. Our dependence on the Internet and other forms of connectivity brings opportunities for cybercriminals, hactivists and anyone else who wishes to do harm to others. Cybercrime has been with us for almost a decade. But the emergence of other types of threat for example the growing hacktivism we saw in 2011 is only now emerging.
Given the role of the Internet in our lives, its hardly surprising to find that organisations of all kinds including government institutions are paying more attention to the potential ways in which it could be used to harm national defence.
We also need to remember that from an Internet perspective the world is a single entity. A cybercriminal in one part of the globe can easily affect people at the other side of the world. On the other hand, law enforcement agencies operate within restricted geo-political boundaries. This makes international co-operation to deal with cybercrime very important.