Hackers are expected to broaden their net in 2016.

IF YOU thought cybercrime was at its proverbial summit, you are in for a shock in 2016.

According to security services vendor Proofpoint, cybercriminals will banking on our willing curiosity to facilitate their intended chaos.

“Next year we will see cybercriminals cast a wider net, move away from malicious document attachments and increasingly leverage emerging vectors such as mobile applications and social media platforms,” vice president of Threat Operations at Proofpoint Kevin Epstein said.

“Our six 2016 predictions all have one theme in common — cybercriminals are targeting the people behind devices and are looking to capitalise on their willingness to click.”

In addition to targeting user’s inquisitiveness, hackers are expected to attack high-value financial infrastructure, by way of ATMs, point of sale terminals and payment portals.


The increased prevalence of malware on official app stores will also pose a threat to users, as the distribution of the intrusive software is directed more heavily towards enterprises.

A further increase in incidents of malware is expected to continue into 2016, according to Proofpoint. The data protection provider identified a growing number of social media accounts supporting the distribution of harmful software in 2015. The trend is showing no signs of slowing down, spreading across social-supported verticals in an attempt to steal personal customer data or organisation financial data.

Proofpoint director of Threat Intelligence Patrick Wheeler said the biggest threats to come in the new year won’t be revolutionary, but simply old methods taking on a new shape.

“Truly new threats are quite rare and often expensive to threat actors. Known attacks deployed in new ways are actually a much greater threat because they are more likely to be both effective and cost-effective,” Wheeler said.

“The big ‘new’ threats of 2016 will most likely be well-known techniques from email — and web-based attacks — applied to less well-defended areas such as social media and mobile apps.”

Hackers are expected to target ATM’s more heavily in 2016.

Hackers are expected to target ATM’s more heavily in 2016.Source:Supplied

While Wheeler warned users to be more vigilant with their own data security in light of the anticipated broadening of the global hacking web, he also insisted that the incidence of cyber criminal activity is not increasing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t here to stay.

“For individuals, the best practices are pretty well-known: run good, up-to-date protection on your devices, don’t open emails and click attachments from people you don’t know, apply relevant OS and application patches when they become available and don’t provide your personal or financial info over social media,” Wheeler said.

“For organisations the challenge is greater because experiences have shown time and again that people will almost always click, so the best defence is to protect the threat main vectors that attackers use to reach users: email, social media, and mobile.

“Combining best-of-breed protection on these vectors with integrated threat intelligence and automated incident response will create a foundation for protecting your organisation, your users, and your data.”

“We could argue that the feeling that cybercrime is getting worse is actually rooted in an increasingly widespread grasp that cybercrime isn’t going away, which is a really important — and scary — thing to realise.

“There will be cybercrime as long as there is a way to profit from stealing information online, and every individual and organisation are a potential target: understanding that, we can move on to using intelligence, education and solutions to focus on threats, risks, and response.”

[Source:- news.com]

By Adam