Hackers expected to up ante in 2012
If online security fears were already at an all-time high, a recent Forbes report entitled Can Hackers Destroy The Internet? may have just added more fuel to the fire.
Contributing writer Kenneth Rapoza noted that Trojans, botnets, denial of service attacks and SQL injections all can impact businesses and internet users.
"One thing is certain, more computers and wireless devices are going to be compromised this year than were last year," he wrote. "Some companies will go out of business as a result. State secrets will be revealed. A mysterious charge will appear on your credit card bill each month. Over 70,000 new cyber security threats are discovered on a daily basis. Even the strongest networks are not safe from hackers."
Rapoza noted several high-profile online security breaches that took place in 2011, including attacks against the CIA, U.K. Treasury and defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Users of the popular PlayStation 3 console also felt the wrath of hackers. The Sony PlayStation Network experienced an attack that compromised nearly 80 million people worldwide last year.
The mobile realm is another another dangerous area where hackers are expected to increase their efforts. Popular devices including smartphones and tablets will be targeted more often in 2012, according to the reporter. In fact, the Android operating system, which is currently the world's No. 1 mobile OS, is also the top target of cybercriminals.
"Some will be the handiwork of hactivist groups like Anonymous, trying to make a socio-political point by interrupting corporate and government computer servers; others will be multimillionaire criminals hiding out in Moscow, writing malware so sophisticated, like the new Foncy trojan that it disguises itself as an EA Sports NFL Madden 2012 download," wrote Rapoza.
Last year, several cybersecurity trends took place. A recent study of more than 300 breach incidents and 2,000 data tests revealed consumer records are most targeted data. Of the events analyzed, 89 percent included such information, followed by intellectual property, which accounted for 6 percent.
The research also noted that if a hacker can breach a system in one location, it is highly likely they can compromise networks across multiple regions.
The study also revealed many businesses are using weak passwords, which can be addressed with password manager software to protect against intrusions.