December 9, 2014
With hackers becoming increasingly proficient at their trade, a number of entities – from healthcare industries to average homeowners – will be more vulnerable to invasions of privacy in the coming year.
Next year, hackers will be better equipped to launch “crippling distributed denial of service attacks” on unsuspecting users, while, at the same time, employing “sophisticated stealth technologies” to remain below the radar of malware hunters, according to a sobering 2015 Threats Predictions by McAfee Labs’ researchers.
The report paid special attention to the health care industry as an especially vulnerable area. “With the increasing proliferation of healthcare IoT devices and their use in hospitals, the threat of the loss of information contained on those devices becomes increasingly likely,” the report said.
The report warned of an uptick in the number of small nations and terror organizations attempting to “attack by launching crippling distributed denial of service attacks or using malware that wipes the master boot record to destroy their enemies’ networks”. Closer to home, hackers will expand their expertise on so-called “ransomware,” which blocks victims from accessing files until they agree to pay a ransom to recover it. This may also include ransoms demanded on photographs and videos accessed from mobile phones.
In a particularly worrying quote from the report, McAfee predicts “a major attack” directly connected to vulnerabilities in Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which include “appliances, automobiles, home automation, and even light bulbs”.