Privacy, data theft top cyber issues in 2012

Privacy and data theft will be the top security issues that organisations need to focus on in the new year.

Bangalore: Privacy and data theft will be the
top security issues that organisations need to focus on in
the new year, according to PandaLabs, the anti-malware
laboratory of cloud security firm Panda Security.

Cyber-espionage and social networking attacks aimed at
companies and government agencies will be the predominant
threat to safeguard against in 2012, it said in a statement.
"Cyber-espionage and social networking attacks will be
the trends to watch, together with other, more traditional
threats," the company said.

According to PandaLabs Technical Director Luis Corrons,
"We live in a world where all information is in digital form,
so modern-day spies no longer need to infiltrate a building to
steal information."

"As long as they have the necessary computer skills, they
can wreak havoc and access the best-kept secrets of
organisations without ever leaving their living-rooms," he

In the case of home users, cyber-criminals would continue
to target social media sites to steal personal data. Social
engineering techniques exploiting users` weaknesses have
become the leading attack method for hackers, it said.

"Social networking sites provide a space where users feel
safe as they interact with friends and family. The problem is
that attackers are creating worms that take advantage of that
false sense of security to spread their creations and it is
really easy for them to trick users with generic messages like
"Look, you`re on this video" for example," Corrons said.
"Sometimes, curiosity can be our own worst enemy," he

According to PandaLabs, there will be new attacks on
Android operating system-based devices in 2012, but it will
not be on a massive scale.

It added that the fact tablets share the same operating
system as smartphones means they will be soon targeted by the
same malware as those platforms.

In addition, tablets might draw a special interest from
cyber-crooks, as people are using them for an increasing
number of activities and they are more likely to store
sensitive data than on a smartphone.

The number of malware specimens for Macs would continue
to grow in 2012, though much less than in the case of PCs.

In the past few years, the number of malware threats has
grown exponentially and everything seems to indicate the trend
will continue in 2012.

Trojans are cyber-crooks` weapon of choice for their
attacks, as shown by the fact that three out of every four new
malware strains created in 2011 were trojans, designed to sit
silently on users` computers and steal their information, it

It added, "Windows 8 will allow users to develop
applications for virtually any device (PCs, tablets and
smartphones) running Windows 8, so it will be possible to
develop malicious applications like those for Android. This,
in any event, will probably not take place until 2013."

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