Observations on the Evolution of Cyber Tactics in 2013
“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo
The world has reached a point of inflection in cybercrime. As cyberspace abounds with cyber privateers, and many nations of the world become havens for these modern-day pirates, it appears that 2013 is the year of hacking for criminal gain.
In our recently released predictions for 2013, our CTO Raimund Genes illustrated his strategic vision per the future of cybercrime. The predictions highlight improvements in threats we will encounter in 2013, more specifically on the attack vectors used by cybercriminals. Raimund predicts that attackers will shift their strategy from developing sophisticated malware to focusing on the means to infiltrate networks and evade detection.
As we move to Web 3.0, it is important for us to acknowledge the risk we will face when it comes to our business and digital lifestyles in general. It is also fundamental that we begin to increase our situational awareness per the tactics employed by these actors so as to sustain commerce and finance.
For my part, I agree with Raimund’s take on the shift in cybercriminals’ strategy. A dramatic shift in the modus operandi of cybercriminals will occur in 2013. I predict five major shifts in attack vectors:
- Man-in-the-browser attacks will flourish as automated transfer system attacks become mainstream due to the advent of mobile banking. Inserting nano-ware into the browser allows for criminals to bypass two factor authentication and thus insert themselves into the encrypted channel. This was seen with the Automatic Transfer System module for Zeus and SpyEye.
- Watering hole attacks will grow in popularity as polluting trusted websites is a far better targeted attack methodology than targeting individual users.
- Mobile malware will metastasize and become more insidious and automated to include proximity attack capabilities.
- Cross platform attacks like Jacksbot will become mainstream.
- Hypervisor attacks on cloud infrastructures will begin in earnest, in order to move closer to data.
As the modus operandi of cybercriminals evolves, so must our defense in depth strategy. Cybersecurity investments must shift towards continuous monitoring and advanced threat protection if we are to civilize cyberspace and sustain Web 3.0. If we build it they will come, but they will not all be righteous.
To find out more about our 2013 predictions, check our predictions document titled Security Threats to Business, the Digital Lifestyle, and the Cloud.