Thursday, March 13, 2014

Evolution of cyber threats

“Evolution never looks to the future.” (evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins). Indeed, evolution has more to do with present, with the need to adapt to ongoing situations that come to us.

Evolution of cyber threats

Cybercriminals know it, therefore they are constantly modifying its behavior and the nature of their attacks. Fortunately there are some companies, such as McAfee, which monitor the evolution of cyber threats and analyze trends. In the last quarter of 2013, they detected a dangerous increase of 52% on malware signed with digital certificates. In the same report, they highlight the increase of malware in the point of sales systems and a 197% jump in the number of virus for Android.

Meanwhile, DDoS attacks’ popularity is increasing in the darkest corners of the Internet. In recent weeks we have witnessed some offensives of huge dimensions. But the scope of the attack depends on your goal. Using pingbacks function from 162,000 Wordpress sites to create thousands of HTTP requests per second was enough to shut down a popular website (whose name has not been provided), according to security firm Sucuri.

However, when a strategy works well year after year, there is no need for a major change. That happens with typical phishing actions carried out in Spain at the annual taxes campaign’s time. The cybercrooks sent to fake emails allegedly on behalf of the Tax Agency with the hook of a tax refund to get the user’ personal details.

On the other side, Whatsapp is one of the instant messaging apps that managed to cover an existing need 5 years ago and contributed to change the way we communicate nowadays. However, its security problems remain in the eye of the hurricane. For example, it has recently been discovered that the file where conversations are stored could be taken by any other app with the appropriate permissions, what could be hazardous to our privacy. However, the latest update of Whatsapp brought some improvements for Android users, concerning privacy. It gives users the possibility to control who can see their profile picture, their status or their last connection.


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