5299Cyber Scam Predictions for 2014 - Community Advisory
- Jan 15, 2014Leading online security vendors are reviewing recent trends of trickery
– to predict the top cyber scams of 2014. Some notables worth a
TVs watching you. Many traditionally “dumb” devices are getting
“smarter” – televisions, gaming systems and even baby monitors
are being connected to the Internet and often contain cameras or
microphones. So, many cybercops predict them to be a magnet for attack,
such as remote spying. (Think: While you’re watching TV, scammers are
watching you from afar.) Expect more focus from the security folks on
closing current vulnerabilities on the many devices connected to the
“Internet of Things” – and more emphasis for owners of such
gizmos to update their security software.
Ransomware will become an even bigger threat. In this scam, the crooks
remotely freeze your computer, then demand money to make it work again.
They may pretend to be the FBI, saying you’ve been watching
pornographic shows. Or they may offer to sell you bogus security
software to remove a supposed online virus. The FBI and others strongly
advise you don’t pay, since that can just lead to more extortion.
Ransomware is also expected to move from computers to include
smartphones and other devices.
“Show Us Your Modern Family” Photo Contest. Upload your photo for a
chance to be photographed in a magazine. See official rules.
Destroying data rather than collecting it. In the past, cybercrooks
primarily focused on collecting sensitive data for profit. But in 2013,
according to an IBM Cyber Security Intelligence report, there’s been
an increase in sabotage vs. espionage attacks – hackers get inside big
institutional systems and erase huge volumes of data. The take-home
message: Securely back up on thumb drives or other “offline” storage
devices info you don’t want to lose in corporate security breaches.
Loving the “Like.” In addition to schemes on Facebook that use the
“Like” button to lure you to reveal personal information in order to
watch videos or get “free” prizes, beware of mobile apps that
promise to secure you more “Likes.” Already, reports Symantec, more
than 100,000 people revealed their login details to a dubious Russian
behind one app promising more “Likes” for users’ Instagram
More mobile malware. Cybercrooks used to focus their attacks mainly on
desktop computers. In recent years they’ve been expanding to include
smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices – and that trend is
expected to continue in 2014. So it’s a great time to brush up on ways
to secure your smartphone and other devices.
Targeting software developers. Remember October’s data breach of
Adobe’s computer system, which leaked names, encrypted credit and
debit card numbers and other sensitive information of millions of
customers? Kaspersky predicts more of the same, with hackers increasing
their efforts on companies that develop software. It’s another reason
to take heed of headlines reporting such attacks – and quickly utilize
security updates and patches that are issued after the breaches occur.
Catherine E. Plevy
Public Information Officer (PIO)
Office of the Chief of Police
7500 Maple Avenue
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
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