Credit cards are passé; cyber criminals set their sights higher

KV KURMANATH Hyderabad | Updated on November 27, 2017


IoT devices, m-payment platforms, open-source software most at risk

Prices of people’s stolen credentials in the cyber underground have drastically come down. According to a new report by cyber security solutions firm Trend Micro, the average price of credit card details has dropped to $1 from $3 in 2014. Facebook credentials are down to $100 from $200 and Gmail details have dropped from $217 to $100. This, experts say, is because of the tremendous increase in supply.

But that doesn’t mean hackers are going to sit back and let you off easy. Cyber criminals, says the report, will set their sights on newer and emerging online services and devices in 2015.

New tricks

For one, they are going to try their hands on the emerging opportunity in the Internet of Things and the gadgets being developed around it. Other major targets include vulnerabilities in open-source solutions and the growing number of mobile payment platforms.

“Attackers will find IoT devices viable targets because of the endless possibilities their use presents. We are bound to see greater adoption of smart devices like smart cameras and TVs in the next few years, along with attacks against their users,” Trend Micro said in its report on threat predictions for 2015.

The report, The Invisible Becomes Visible, said that since IoT devices remain too diverse and a ‘killer app’ has yet to emerge, bad guys will not be able to truly launch large-scale attacks against them. “Attackers are more likely to go after the data that resides in these devices. In 2015, we expect attackers to hack smart device-makers’ databases to steal information,” it said.

Attacks to go diverse

“In the next few years, we will see even more diverse attack origins and targets. Threat actors’ motivations will continue to vary. They will, however, continue to go after top-secret government data, financial information, intellectual property and industry blueprints,” the report said.

Although the majority of targeted attacks seen to date are initiated by spear-phishing emails or watering hole tactics, social media will increasingly be abused as infection vectors in the future, it said. Individuals should regularly change passwords while organisations must constantly monitor their networks for all kinds of threats, it added.

Published on November 18, 2014

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