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ESET Releases Annual Threat Trends Predictions for 2014: The Challenge of Internet Privacy

December 2013 by ESET

ESET has released its annual predictions for the upcoming year: “Trends 2014 - The Challenge of Internet Privacy”. This year, in the wake of the revelations made by Edward Snowden related to the US National Security Agency (NSA), a key focus is on the growing concern expressed by users regarding their online privacy.

The report elaborates on three main areas of trends for 2014:

Loss of privacy and mechanisms to improve protection on the Internet – the trend of “going to the cloud” and how it affects privacy; the NSA and the privacy debate and how users can protect their information online (e.g. data encryption).

“The challenge to internet privacy has not meant a decrease in cases of people affected by any malicious code or other kind of computer threat. It can be asserted that concern about privacy is a good starting point on the user side; however, it is essential for people to be aware of all aspects of information security. Otherwise, it is not possible to mitigate the impact of computer threats,” states the report.

Computer threats for Android OS – In its 2013 report, ESET predicted a major increase in Android malware. Comparing the detections that occured in 2012 and 2013, incidents of Android malware have increased by more than 60 percent. This significant increase will continue in 2014.

The report, prepared by researchers at ESET Latin America’s Research Laboratory in Buenos Aires, notes that cybercriminals are applying classic attack methodologies towards mobile platforms. On this basis, the discovery of critical vulnerabilities and their later exploitation through malicious code represent an evolution of cybercrime affecting mobile technology.

Other trends – new spread of malicous code in the form of ransomware (e.g. filecoders like Cryptolocker); vulnerabilities in Java; ever-present and more complex botnets; 64-bit threats and malicious codes that try to obtain profits by stealing electronic coins and a variety of non-traditional devices such as smart cars, game consoles, smart TVs and others which introduce the possibility that in a future, threats for this kind of technology may be seen.

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