McAfee Labs, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), predicted that large- scale cyber attacks intended to destroy infrastructure will increase next year, and cyber criminals will also focus their threats on mobile devices.
McAfee Labs senior vice-president, Vincent Weafer, said, “Cyber criminals and hacktivists will strengthen and evolve the techniques and tools they use to assault our privacy, bank accounts, mobile devices, businesses, organizations, and homes.”
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Based on the company’s 2013 Threat Predictions Report, cyber criminals will develop and deploy sophisticated ransomware technologies that will lockup phones and tablets. Users wouldn’t be able to use their mobile devices until they agree to pay the attackers to unlock their devices. According to McAfee, the scheme will become popular in 2013.
McAfee said cyber criminals will deploy a new mobile worm, which buys apps without a user’s permission. In addition, they will also create mobile worms with NFC capabilities in order to steal money using the “bump and infect,” a method typically used in malls and airports.
According to McAfee, Anonymous will decrease its activities in 2013, after the hacktivist group made many uncoordinated, unclear operations, and false claims. The company said, “Anonymous’ level of technical sophistication has stagnated and its tactics are better understood by its potential victims, and such, the group’s level of success will decline.” Anonymous hacked, took down and defaced numerous websites this year.
McAfee also predicted that crimeware and hacking as a service will expand in 2013. Citadel will become the Trojan of choice among cyber criminals. The recently released, Citadel Rain is capable of retrieving configuration files, and it allows attackers to send a targeted payload to one victim or a group of victims.