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Online Security Threat Predictions for 2013

computersecuritySome of the worst online security snafus of 2012  of 2012 came in the form of DDoS attacks, cloud outages and political unrest. According to the National Journal, the United States Department of Defense lists cyber warfare as number three in the top list of threats. Trends Micro predicts in 2013 politically motivated cyber war between certain countries who try to modify or espionage on top-secret data which may cause destructive damage to infrastructures will increase.

PC’s  remain the biggest target for malicious code but Apple’s image of invulnerability to security exploits is history. Essentially  there is no difference between Mac and Windows computers when it comes to security.  Malware creators are also targeting mobile devices as we experience a whole new set of operating systems with different security models and attack vectors.

Cloud database and digital lifestyle devices will make fighting cybercriminals more complex in 2013. Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices will continue to present a serious threat to network and data security in the upcoming year. Social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook could be used for spear-heading phishing attacks. 

Trends Micro 2013 forecasts:

  1. The volume of malicious and high-risk Android apps will hit 1 million in 2013.
  2. Windows 8 offers improved security—but only to consumers.
  3. Cybercriminals will heavily abuse legitimate cloud services.
  4. As digital technology plays a larger role in our lives, security threats will appear in unexpected places.
  5. Consumers will use multiple computing platforms and devices. Securing these will be complex and difficult.
  6. Politically motivated electronic-based attacks will become more destructive.
  7. Cloud storage or not, data breaches will remain a threat in 2013.
  8. Efforts to address global cybercrime will take two or more years to reach full implementation.
  9. Conventional malware threats will only gradually evolve, with few, if any, new threats. Attacks will become more sophisticated in terms of deployment.
  10. Africa will become a new safe harbor for cybercriminals.

While enterprises and government agencies have invested unprecedented resources in cybersecurity over the past few years, the incidence of new data threats and breaches remains at record highs. The most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (PDF) indicates that breaches involving hacking and malware were both up considerably last year, with hacking involved in 81 percent of incidents and malware involved in 69 percent. via Rethinking IT Security Architecture: Experts Question Wisdom Of Current ‘Layered’ Cyberdefense Strategies

Next year will be the year of the mobile security threat, according to Internet security software giant McAfee, based on the predictions report it released  of the leading security threats expected in 2013.

  1. Mobile Threats
  2. Malware
  3. Big-Scale Attacks
  4. Citadel Trojan Zeros In
  5. HTML5
  6. Botnets and Spam
  7. Crimeware
  8. Hacktivism

via Top Online Security Threats of 2013 — and How You Can Protect Yourself

The Top 5 Security Predictions for 2013 from Symantec are:

  1. Cyber conflict becomes the norm. In 2013 and beyond, conflicts between nations, organizations, and individuals will play a key role in the cyber world.
  2. Ransomware is the new scareware. As fake antivirus begins to fade as a criminal enterprise, a new and harsher model will continue to emerge. Enter ransomware.
  3. Madware adds to the insanity. Mobile adware, or “madware,” is a nuisance that disrupts the user experience and can potentially expose location details, contact information, and device identifiers to cybercriminals. Madware—which sneaks onto a user device when they download an app—often sends pop-up alerts to the notification bar, adds icons, changes browser settings, and gathers personal information.
  4. Monetization of social networks introduces new dangers. As consumers, we place a high level of trust in social media—from the sharing of personal details, to spending money on game credits, to gifting items to friends.
  5. As users shift to mobile and cloud, so will attackers.

According to Bullgard, organizations of all sizes are facing security challenges in 2013 including:

  1. More mobile malware than ever before, targeting mostly Android devices.
  2. More aggressive mobile adware invading user privacy.
  3. Online fraud will remain rampant in 2013.
  4. Mobile and online shopping will continue to rise, but not without increased risk.
  5. More advanced persistent threats (APT) will be discovered.

via Top 5 IT Security Predictions for 2013

Security Tips for Bloggers

Keep your computer, online accounts  and your email accounts safe. Read and act on: How to Prevent and React to a WordPress Hack Attack


  1. Install anti-virus software and update regularly.
  2. Install firewalls.
  3. Keep your operating system and browser versions up to date.
  4. Limit Admin access.
  5. Use strong passwords and different passwords on all accounts.
  6. Do not share your passwords or PINs with others.
  7. Use Secure Log-in and Log-out.
  8. Use  secure wireless network connections.
  9. If you do use another computer, delete your “Temporary Internet Files” or “Cache” and clear your “History” after you log out of your account.
  10. Backup your content.

Related posts:

Malware Targets Macs and Windows PCs

Bloggers: Beware of Adware

Cloud Computing, Dropbox and Data Backup

What Apple and Google are not Telling you About Mobile Device Security (infographic) – Forbes

17 thoughts on “Online Security Threat Predictions for 2013

    • Hi Mark,
      There’s no doubt about it we all have to become more security conscious in 2013.

      Thanks for the well wishes. My medics warn that I do tend to be stoic and intrepid but those qualities only go so far when it comes to dealing with chronic pain. I need to be more in tune with what’s going on inside my body and that’s one of my self improvement goals for 2013.

  1. Dear TT,

    I just wanted to wish you (belatedly) a happy and hopefully healthy 2013. I also wanted to thank you because One Cool Site is such a wonderful resource for me as I am sure it is for multitude of other bloggers.

    With many good wishes from B a blogger on the other side of the ocean.

  2. I, too, am leery of the cloud, but I couldn’t give you a technical reason for it. It’s just that it’s my stuff and it’s not on my computer; it’s been entrusted to someone else. Had my first problem with it this weekend when the Xbox Live cloud was down and I couldn’t get to my cloud-saved game. Glad it wasn’t something really important.

    As for computer vulnerability, I read somewhere, possibly Ars Technica, that Windows and Mac are pretty much the same these days. It’s just that there are fewer Macs, so hackers get more bang for their buck hacking Windows machines.

  3. This is a LOT for me to digest. I apologize if my response therefore gets pretty long.

    Essentially there is no difference between Mac and Windows computers when it comes to security.

    I’m not quite certain what you mean. Do you mean, “an approach to security should be similar, no matter the OS platform?”

    I don’t know much about iOS. However, I do know that Mac OS 10+ uses the Darwin kernel, which came from BSD. That means, mostly, that Macs are using a file system very similar to what Linux and BSD are using now– and I would imagine that some security modules might be ported over (such as Host Intrustion Protection Systems [HIPS] modules like SUSE’s ArmorApp). We in the Linux/BSD community are a bit nonchalant in this area; the kernel (the core of the OS) for us is upgraded constantly, and a lot of security gets “baked in”. I have no idea if Apple does this; it might be in their best interest to do so. I don’t know if Microsoft has even considered this for the NT kernel.

    re: Trend Micro’s forecast, #2: Well, I really do see XP a lot lot LOT out in the business world. As Windows 8 really is geared towards household mobile devices, and not business terminals, I guess I’m not surprised. Maybe more will move over to Linux distros like Ubuntu– a friend told me the Amazon call center he works at did just that. Many businesses have aging machines that will not likely handle Windows 8 *or* 7 very well.

    re #4: The smart house is a lot more realistic in terms of economic cost, now. The ideas have been kicking around for at least 20-30 years.

  4. I do all 4, tt, but I’ve always felt the Cloud had a huge risk potential. For that reason, while I use Dropbox to transfer files between platforms (e.g. Windows to iPad), I then delete them from Dropbox, so I have no data in the Cloud to be nobbled.

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