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WatchGuard Reveals Top Security Predictions for 2013

WatchGuard Reveals Top Security Predictions for 2013
December 7, 2012 10:08AM


WatchGuard Reveals Top Security Predictions for 2013 -- Cyber Attacks Resulting in Human Death, Android Pick-Pocketing Attempts and Rise in Browser-Infecting Malware All Forecasted Next Year

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SEATTLE, December 5, 2012 -- WatchGuard Technologies, a global leader in manageable business security solutions, [has] revealed its annual security predictions for 2013. Assembled by WatchGuard's security research analysts, the list reveals an uptick in emerging cyber threats and an increased focus by governments to fight back through legislation. While the security industry is predicted to focus on "strike back" measures, WatchGuard predicts these actions will be ineffective and ultimately unviable for most organizations.

"2012 was an eye-opening year in cyber security as we saw the number of new and more sophisticated vulnerabilities rise, impacting individuals, businesses and governments," said WatchGuard Director of Security Strategy Corey Nachreiner, a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). "This is a year where the security stakes reach new heights, attacks become more frequent and unfortunately more damaging as many organizations suffer attacks before taking measures to protect themselves from the bad guys."

WatchGuard's 2013 security predictions (http://www.watchguard.com/predictions/index.asp) include:

A Cyber Attack Results in a Human Death

WatchGuard hopes it is wrong in this prediction. But with more computing devices embedded in cars, phones, TVs and even medical devices, digitally dealt death is not only possible, it's plausible. Security is still often an afterthought when developing innovative technical systems. Criminals, hacktivists, and even nation-states are launching increasingly targeted cyber-attacks, resulting in the destruction of physical equipment. Most recently, a researcher even showed how to wirelessly deliver an 830 volt shock to an insecure pacemaker, proving that digital attacks can have a real-world impact.

Malware Enters the Matrix through a Virtual Door

Last year was the first real-world instance of malware that sought out virtual machines (VMs) and infected them directly. Today, there is an emergence of malicious code that can recognize when it's running in a virtual system and can act accordingly. In 2013, WatchGuard predicts attackers will create even more VM-targeted malware. It will be designed to take advantage of weaknesses found in many virtual environments, while attempting to avoid virtualized automatic threat detection systems.

It's Your Browser -- Not Your System -- that Malware Is After

WatchGuard anticipates a steep rise in browser-infecting malware in 2013. With increased adoption of cloud services like online banking, a great deal of personal and sensitive data passes through web browsers. Many antivirus solutions are focused on catching traditional malware which infects an operating system and aren't as effective at detecting browser-based infections. Now, a new type of malware has emerged. Sometimes called a Man-in-the-Browser (MitB) or browser zombie, it arrives as a malicious browser extension, plugin, helper object, or piece of JavaScript. It doesn't infect the whole system; instead it takes complete control of a browser and runs whenever the victim surfs the web.

Strike Back Gets a Lot of Lip Service, but Does Little Good (continued...)

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