Study: Growth In Social Networking, Mobile and Infrastructure Attacks Threaten Corporate Security In 2011

IID (Internet Identity), a provider of technology and services that help organizations secure Internet presence, recently released its list of the top enterprise security trends for 2011. Some specific areas that IID predicts significant spikes in attacks are social networking, mobile, and enterprise infrastructure. Below is the IID list of its top enterprise security risks to watch out for in 2011 (in no particular order):

1) Bank-Oriented Social Networking Attacks. With the growth of social networks, banks are getting on the bandwagon and using these networks to cater to their customers. But beware, there will be fakes that will utilize social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to try to infect victims with malware and trick people into giving up their vital personal information like bank logins, social security numbers, etc.

2) Mobile Malware. Cyber crooks will cash in on the app craze even more in 2011, targeting mobile phones for malicious software (malware) attacks. They have already figured out ways to disguise malware as legitimate apps, and then steal account and login information or get victim phones to make expensive phone calls without the phone's owner ever knowing a thing. IID expects to see more and more rogue apps, along with attacks crafted to go after vulnerabilities in the smart phones’ operating systems or popular apps.

3) Infrastructure Hijackings. Expect DNS (Domain Name System) and BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) attacks to grab headlines in 2011. As the translator between domain names and IP addresses, DNS is the glue that holds everything together on the Internet, from keeping time to conducting transactions to transmitting messages to sharing corporate and consumer data. By hijacking these DNS translations, attackers can drive unsuspecting surfers and corporate users to malicious sites, making large parts of the Internet largely useless or insecure. BGP is essentially the routing system for the Internet. Much like DNS, when BGP is hijacked, everything from websites to e-mail to instant messages can be rerouted.

4) Growing Pains with DNSSEC. There will be problems implementing DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) properly because of technical challenges, industry resistance to change and implementation problems. DNSSEC is being marketed as the silver bullet to stop DNS cache poisoning attacks -- where criminals can hijack a domain, email and much more.

5) Zeus Reborn. The person who wrote Zeus -- the malicious software used to steal more than $100 million so far in 2010 – says he is retiring from using Zeus. But don't believe the ruse. There is a good chance the programmer or a close associate will soon emerge with even more powerful ways to steal.

6) Sophisticated Mule Recruitment. In the world of phishing, a mule -- or money mule, to be more precise -- is the person who does the legwork of transferring the money from a phished bank account to a foreign bank account, typically through an intermediary money wire system like Western Union. IID expects more sophisticated mule recruiting operations in the coming year since moving money has been the biggest obstacle to criminals cleaning out bank accounts over the past year.

7) ACH Fraud Growth. Cyber criminals have found ACH (Automated Clearing House) fraud to be a simple way to swindle money from users. IID sees this scheme continuing for the foreseeable future due to its simplicity and the criminals’ ability to make millions of dollars from just a handful of ACH fraud victims.

8) Law Enforcement Busts. There has been a lot of money and manpower invested into fighting cybercrime by U.S. federal law enforcement as well as other countries over the past few years. Expect a continued uptick in taking cybercriminals down over the next year.

9) Extended Enterprise Problems on the Rise. Cyber criminals often take an indirect approach to compromise their targets by focusing on those targets’ trusted partners, vendors and others (the Extended Enterprise) that have access to valuable data. As enterprises strengthen their defenses against direct attacks, IID expects to see an increase in indirect attacks against the Extended Enterprise – essentially opening up a “back door” security vulnerability.

10) Malvertising Growth. Malvertising, the distribution of malware via fake online ads, grew steadily in 2010 with the volume of detected incidents more than quadrupling over the year. IID expects this growth to continue, as cybercriminals capitalize on the rapid growth in online advertising and compromised websites to distribute malware.


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