With 2018 just weeks away, we can say with absolute certainty that 2017 hasn’t been a boring year in terms of security incidents. If anything, some malware outbreaks were serious enough to affect almost every country on the map, while dome data breaches have jeopardized the personal information of hundreds of millions of users worldwide.
As for 2018, we can definitely expect the number of exploits to increase, as we’ve seen just how potent they can be when weaponized with worm-like behavior. Think of WannaCry and other similar spinoffs that indiscriminately targeted computers around the world.
Although spam is nothing new and already accounts for 60 percent of email traffic worldwide, it will remain one of the most efficient attack vectors for delivering ransomware, banking Trojans, and other threats. Either with malicious attachments or with suspicious URLs, spam is not going anywhere this 2018.
As the number of internet-connected devices (IoT) has increased, cybercriminals have also begun exploiting their potential. The Mirai botnet, which involved enslaving about 100,000 IoT devices and using them to take down one of the biggest DNS service providers, showed that security for such devices is still lacking, and cybercriminals can easily compromise them. Although some spinoffs of Mirai have already emerged, cybercriminals will consistently target IoTs throughout 2018 with more frequency and sophistication than before.
Some might argue that Mac OS is immune to malware, but recent developments have proven that ransomware, Trojans, and any other form of remote access Trojan can easily make its way onto Apple’s Mac OS. From popular applications being tampered with and used to deliver malware, to scareware that promises to “fix” your computer, during 2018 we’ll definitely see more threats gunning for Mac OS.
Ransomware, unfortunately, is likely to become more advanced and more sophisticated, potentially even using GPU processing power to speed up the encryption process of the victim’s files. Since it has been such a big money maker for cybercriminals this 2017, ransomware-as-a-service platforms will make the threat even more accessible to hackers, significantly boosting the volume and complexity of 2018 ransomware samples.
While these are just a couple of threats to look out for in 2018, all malware will become more sophisticated thanks to increased obfuscation techniques adopted by malware developers.
More than ever, everyone is encouraged to always keep all software and operating systems up to date with the latest security fixes and patches, and install a security solution that can steer them away from online threats and advanced malware. For IoT owners, besides making sure that your devices are always up to date, use an integrated home network security solution that’s capable of not just protecting your smart refrigerator, smart TV and whatnot, but also that enables you to make the right security decisions for your home network.