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Cyber Attacks Will Get Worse in 2015: McAfee Report Released

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McAfee Labs’ 2015 Threats Predictions report was released Tuesday and stating that there will be increased cyber warfare and hacking, along with new strategies from hackers to steal sensitive data without leaving any trace.

MOSCOW, December 9 (Sputnik) – McAfee Labs’ 2015 Threats Predictions report was released Tuesday and stated that there will be an increased cyber warfare and espionage, along with new strategies from hackers to hide their tracks and steal sensitive data, as reported by AFP.

McAfee is an American global computer security software company headquartered in Santa Clara, California and the world's largest dedicated security technology company.

“Cyber espionage attacks will continue to increase in frequency,” the report said. “Long-term players will become stealthier information gatherers, while newcomers will look for ways to steal money and disrupt their adversaries.”

According to the report, small nations and terror groups will become even more active and will “attack by launching crippling distributed denial of service attacks or using malware that wipes the master boot record to destroy their enemies’ networks.”

Simultaneously, cybercriminals will use improved techniques to perform long-term theft of data without being detected, the researchers said.

“In this way, criminals are beginning to look and act more like sophisticated nation-state cyber-espionage actors, who watch and wait to gather intelligence”.

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The report also said hackers are planning to target more connected devices, including computers in the agricultural, manufacturing, and health care sectors; “the number and variety of devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) family is growing exponentially. In the consumer space, they are now seen in appliances, automobiles, home automation, and even light bulbs”.

According to the report the hackers are targeting devices such as webcams with weak security and industrial control systems. But it sees health care as an especially troublesome sector.

“With the increasing proliferation of health care IoT devices and their use in hospitals, the threat of the loss of information contained on those devices becomes increasingly likely,” the report said.

It noted that health care data “is even more valuable than credit card data” on hacker black markets, reports AFP.

In the retail sector, hackers may be able to exploit wireless systems such as Bluetooth and near field communications (NFC) used for mobile payments. Threats including “ransom ware,” which locks down data in the mobile device and forces the victim to pay a ransom to re-claim it will increase.

“With consumers now sending payment information over a protocol with known vulnerabilities, it is highly likely that attacks on this infrastructure will emerge in 2015,” the report said. Large scale cyber-attacks have been linked to Russia and China and a major infiltration of Sony Pictures, where massive amounts of data was stolen occurred a few days ago. Also, Home Depot and others have reported data breaches affecting millions of customers.

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“The year 2014 will be remembered as the year of shaken trust,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president at Intel-owned McAfee.

“Restoring trust in 2015 will require stronger industry collaboration, new standards for a new threat landscape, and new security postures that shrink time-to-detection.” 

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