Following the annual tradition, Kaspersky Lab shares its predictions for the upcoming 12 months. Experts predict that matters associated with personal data confidentiality, provision of appropriate security in the age of emerging cryptocurrencies, as well as identification and prevention of cyber attacks, which are gradually becoming more complex and unpredictable, will be the main priorities for 2017.
Kaspersky Lab experts believe the trend of invisible APT-class (advanced persistent threat) attacks will develop more in 2017. This means cyber criminals will likely focus on ‘short infections’. Hackers will likely pick tools and software that do not rely heavily on long periods of activity. For example, many malware developers have taken a liking to Microsoft PowerShell, which helps create small programmes and put them into RAM, from which they are deleted upon the system’s reboot. This allows cyber criminals to acquire confidential data from infected computers without leaving traces.
Aside from that, events from recent months show that cyber attacks are gradually taking on political feel to them. Massive information leaks from large corporations and government institutions are followed by serious geopolitical consequences. It is likely that such attacks in the future will be silenced and not reported to the media.
While APT-attacks can serve as reason for diplomatic conflicts, publication of private data stolen from different web-services on the internet can result in information wars. Intentional information leaks, especially if confidential information belonged to a well-known person, does attract a lot of attention from society and mass media. By leaking confidential information, criminals can manipulate public opinion.
Details about users’ private life are put at risk by cyber criminals and web-services. The latter have long since begun collective personal information from millions of users around the world. Basically users are made hostages, because they cannot watch a movie online, communicate with friends without providing their personal information to developers and websites. Companies promise data security, but data leaks are gradually becoming more common nowadays.
In 2017, cyber criminals will continue coming up with new ways of stealing money using cyber attacks. Experts say banks and other financial organizations will be targeted by cyber criminals.
The main challenge lies with cryptocurrencies next year. Over the course of the past several years, there have been some significant changes in this industry: while there used to be just bitcoin on the market, the number of different cryptocurrencies now reaches 50. Ten of them have serious market capitalization. Countries have come to terms with the inevitability of virtual money and have begun adapting them to their financial systems. It is also possible that the market of cryptocurrencies may expand with new currencies, with actual banks behind them.
«Blockchain technology employed in financial transactions can easily become an alternative solution for information security. The chain principle, formed based on specific rules and encryption for protection, guarantees that only one data block is used at any stage of information processing process. With that, criminals will not be able to control the transaction process because they will not have access to all information used in the process. This principle can be applied to the entire internet. This approach can protect users from data theft and secure a high level of confidentiality to different forms of information that will not be open for access by corporations and other countries,» – says Aleksandr Guseyev, senior anti-virus expert at Kaspersky Lab.