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Report Says Cybercrime Moving To Cloud

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Alcatel-Lucent’s security division Motive Security Labs has published a new report highlighting the security scenario in the digital world. The report not only analyzes the security threats presents in today’s world but also makes some predictions regarding the kind of security threats that we can expect in the future regarding cybercrime.

As per the report, the number of botnet detections remained flat throughout 2014 and even saw a decline towards the end of the year. However, the report paints a far more gloomy picture for the current year and says that botnets are likely to move towards cloud and mobile based networks in a big way. The report argues that since such attack methods prove cost effective for the criminals, hackers are more likely to leverage mobile devices and cloud based resources to launch DDOS and spam attacks, Ad-Click frauds, Bitcoin mining and other types of illegal activities.

If this prediction proves to be true then it would represent a major shift from the traditional PC based attacks to far more lethal and difficult to detect mobile and cloud based botnet attacks.The report also mentions that as many as 16 million mobile devices were infected by malicious programs during 2014. As per Motive Security Labs, a majority of such malicious programs were used for denial of service attacks on major banks and government institutions, identity theft, personal/corporate espionage and financial scams. The report also says that Android devices are now at par with the Windows ecosystems as far as the number of security threats is concerned. As per the statistics presented within the report, Android and Windows both accounted for almost 50 percent of all the security attacks. Other mobile devices including iPhones and BlackBerry were involved in less than one percent of all the security threats since their ecosystems are considered to be far more controlled.

The report also says that the use of mobile spywares is on the rise and reported that criminals are now using a variety of techniques to spy on calls and text/instant messages, emails, web browsing activities and location information of mobile users. As per the report, 6 of the top 20 mobile threats were mobile spywares. The report also had a word of advice for customers who were avoiding online shopping for the fear of compromising their financial information. The report says that by shopping at large retail stores, such customers were actually exposing themselves to greater danger since there are malware infections present at many point-of-sale terminals and cash registers.

It may be recalled that such malwares caused widespread havoc in 2014 and were responsible for the compromise of the financial information of hundreds of thousands of customers who shopped at large stores like Target and Home Depot. The report also says that Internet of Things (IOT) enabled devices have already been involved in some types of security attacks. If the predictions made by the company are to be believed, 2015 will see attacks against IOT enabled video surveillance systems, smart meters, alarm systems and even automobiles in addition to attacks against home routers and Wi-Fi hotspots. Cybercrime is an issue to deal with, and it is getting more complex with the cloud…. so be careful!

June 12, 2015

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