Cyberthreats of 2013
December 05, 2012
Computer hackers are doing much more than sending spammy phishing emails these days. Evolving technologies are making it easier for people with malicious intent to manipulate the vulnerabilities of Internet infrastructure.
 
Better Business Bureau serving Northern Indiana is alerting consumers and businesses of expected cyberthreats in 2013:
  • Cloud-Based Botnets: Cloud computing allows businesses to quickly add or subtract computing power, creating the potential for massive virtual networks to simultaneously send thousands of spam emails. A growing concern is that cloud computing resources will be purchased using credit card information obtained from phishing schemes.
  • Search History Poisoning: Hackers attempt to bump illegitimate websites to the top of search engine results, and now, try to manipulate individuals’ search histories—according to the Emerging Cyber Threats Report 2013 from Georgia Tech. Compromised search histories can follow users from computer to computer, perpetuating the inaccurate results and increasing the likelihood of visiting malicious websites.
  • Mobile Wallet Vulnerabilities: Near field communication, or NFC—a technology which allows two devices to exchange data when in the proximity of each other—is being considered by many smartphone manufacturers, retailers and airlines. With this technology, near field scanners may attempt to capture stored credit card information from passersby.
  • Malicious Mobile Apps: The Internet Crime Complaint Center recently issued an alert on malware in Android applications. As the market for mobile applications expands, it is likely that this problem will increase.
  • Counterfeit QR Codes: A Quick Response Code is a two-dimensional scannable barcode that directs smartphone users to websites or downloadable content. Counterfeit QR Codes—often adhered over legitimate codes and unknowingly scanned—can download malware or lead to unsecure websites.
 
To learn about other cyberthreats or to report Internet crimes, visit ic3.gov, ftc.gov and bbb.org.