December 31, 2012

2013 and Impending Online Security Threats

One overriding issue that concerns the vast majority of online users is security. Whether we are surfing, chatting, playing games or conducting a financial transaction, we want to be assured we are safe and our data is protected. As much as security service providers try though, they can’t guarantee your protection 100 percent of the time.

With every new technology designed to make things better and safer, comes new potentials for security breaches. Security experts believe the rate in which mobile technology has been adopted by every socio-economic stratum will make it the biggest target for attacks in 2013 and beyond. HTML5 the next standard language being adopted for Internet browsers is coming under attack and it will see an increase across all fronts in the future.

The warning for the upcoming year was made by McAfee (News Alert) Labs in its McAfee Threats Report: Third Quarter 2012. This report assessed the threats from malware as well as to endpoints, e-mails, networks, the Web and other vulnerabilities. It anticipates the attacks will involve better methods and tools to access public and private systems around the world. The threats for 2013 will include:

  • New developments in attacking HTML5 and Windows 8 along with all other mobile systems including commerce and NFC (near field communications)
  • Malwares designed to block mobile security updates, ransomware “Kits” to extort money
  • Targeted Zeus-like attacks using Citadel Trojan – which are harder to counter
  • Persistent malware that renew connections
  • Spam SMS
  • Hacking services being offered for money
  • Extreme form of hacktivisim
  • The targeting of countries and governmental organizations

HTML 4.01 has been around since 1999 and since that time a lot has changed about the Internet. The introduction of HTML5 is supposed to make things better for developers and users alike, but there are still bugs to be fixed. This however hasn’t stopped 74 percent of users in North America, 72 in Asia and 83 percent in Europe from adopting the platform. Browsers have always been one of the major gateways for security breaches and this version will be no different.

The new version will create new opportunities of attack in several different areas and the full onslaught hasn’t even started. Some of the vulnerabilities highlighted by McAffe include:

  • An increase through the new media capable APIs which will offer a larger attack surface
  • Browsers will gain direct access to hardware through the new more powerful JavaScript APIs such as WebGL, which has been demonstrated in graphics memory theft
  • HTML5 doesn’t require extensive policy access controls
  • The Cross Origin Resource Sharing can allow HTML pages to make explorations as well as limited operations on a user’s network

As HTML5 becomes the standard it will be the sole target of hackers and more of its vulnerabilities will be exposed. Security is a personal responsibility and whether you are an IT manager in charge of a server farm or your home network you have to stay vigilant at all times.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (NewsAlert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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