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Trustwave 2019 Predictions: Mobile and IoT Devices Will Be Specifically Targeted by Hackers

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Karl Sigler, Threat Intelligence Manager, Trustwave SpiderLabs

Mobile and IoT Devices Will Be Specifically Targeted by Hackers

IoT device manufactures haven't learned their lesson - typically innovating before implementing security features. In 2019, they will continue to bypass secure coding practices in a race to be first to market, putting consumers at risk. And as mobile device use continues to skyrocket, expect hackers to attempt to capitalize on the sheer volume of apps and device targets in 2019.

1.       Hackers will increasingly rely on cryptocurrency - Despite several dips in value, the cryptocurrency market has been stabilizing to a certain extent and continues to provide criminals with features like privacy and ease of access. Cryptocurrency provides an easy way for criminals to monetize their behavior, particularly by utilizing smaller alternate cryptocurrencies that are easier to mine and don't require heavy computing power. As a result, the industry will experience an increase in cryptomining and associated malware.

2.       IoT devices will continue to flood the marketplace without being properly vetted, leaving consumers vulnerable to attacks - At a time where nearly every device is connected to the internet, vendors should be taking security seriously. Too many of these products, toys, and phone apps that connect to the cloud in an insecure or unencrypted fashion and are at risk. Security issues have been plaguing the IoT market from the very beginning and it will only continue to exacerbate in 2019. IoT manufacturers will continue to race to introduce new products before their competitors bypassing secure coding practices resulting in products that add risk to corporate environments.

3.       Targeting of mobile devices will increase - From communication and entertainment, to shopping and work-related activity, consumers are now seemingly tethered to their mobile devices. The high cost of mobile devices and inconvenience of upgrading is deterring many consumers from purchasing new products or updating their operating systems, introducing security risks into corporate environments. Look for cybercriminals to increasingly flock to mobile, targeting devices with mobile specific malware and malicious apps.

4.       Exploit kits will return - Previous crackdowns by law enforcement temporarily halted cybercriminal groups that built widely popular exploit kits that delivered hacking capabilities to non-hackers.  In the coming years, we'll start seeing exploit kits crop up again this time with added automation as cybercriminals seek to capitalize on their functionality and monetary potential from sales on underground forums and the dark web.

5.       The same security problems will occur - While there are new trends, tools and types of malware, criminal and malicious activity repeats the same pattern over and over again. As organizations fail to apply patching best practices, inventory their data assets, and correctly install and audit their perimeter defenses and event management systems, the same big breaches will continue to occur in 2019.


About the Author


Karl Sigler, Threat Intelligence Manager at Trustwave SpiderLabs

Karl Sigler is responsible for research and analysis of current vulnerabilities, malware and threat trends. Karl and his team run the Trustwave SpiderLabs Threat Intelligence database, maintaining security feeds from internal research departments and third party threat exchange programs. His team also serves as liaison for the Microsoft MAPP program, coordinates Trustwave SpiderLabs responsible vulnerability disclosure process and maintains the IDS/IPS signature set for MSS customers. With more than 20 years experience working in information security, Karl has presented on topics like Intrusion Analysis and Computer Forensics to audiences in over 30 countries.

Published Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:42 AM by David Marshall
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