McAfee Labs said late last month that mobile malware will likely drive threat innovation and lead to an increased volume of cyberattacks over the coming year.
According to McAfee, the growth of PC malware remained nearly flat over the past two reported quarters, while malware on Android devices rose by 33 percent. The company said that as consumers and businesses transition to mobile, attacks that target NFC vulnerabilities and valid apps to extricate data without detection will be prevalent.
“With target audiences so large, financing mechanisms so convenient, and cyber-talent so accessible, robust innovation in criminal technology and tactics will continue its surge forward in 2014,” Vincent Weafer, the senior vice president of McAfee Labs, said. “The activity in mobile and social is representative of an increasing ‘black hat’ focus on the fastest growing and most digitally active consumer audiences, in which personal information is almost as attractive as banking passwords. The emergence and evolution of advanced evasion techniques represents a new enterprise security battlefront, where the hacker’s deep knowledge of architectures and common security tactics enable attacks that are very hard to uncover.”
McAfee said the rise of virtual currencies like Bitcoin will encourage ransomware attacks worldwide and that stealth attacks initiated by criminal groups will be harder to identify and stop.
The firm also said attacks that leverage information from social platforms will also become more prevalent in 2014, and cloud-based corporate applications will be targeted by cybercriminals.