Technology is ever changing, and cyber-criminals will be ever adapting to it. Recently, MIT’s Technology Review published an article pertaining to technology security threats that we must be aware if in 2012. As many of us devote a significant amount of time online, being conscious of these threats can help guard important data.
Stolen, Spoofed Certificates
The biggest problem that the Technology Review article dealt with is the growing number of stolen or spoofed certificates. As the article reports, anytime you connect to a site, such as your bank’s website, your traffic is encrypted using a “certificate” that the site uses to prove to your web browser that it can be trusted. In 2011, though, cyber-criminals had the ability to spoof or steal a number of these certificates. This can help them steal user data or install malicious software on their computers.
A Common Security Mechanism in Trouble?
The use of certificates as a security mechanism is the most common method used currently. If the trustworthiness of these are put into question then that may spell difficulties for all computer users including large companies who are responsible for protecting confidential data.
Another common security challenge is what is known as “Hacktivism”. Cyber-criminals see this as activism through hacking, hence the name. Groups like Anonymous and LulzSec target large businesses that they think are guilty of wrongdoing. Additionally they target companies to demonstrate the susceptibility and weakness of them. Technology Review believes that groups like these will continue “hacktivism” for a long time.
Home automation is a increasing trend, and in 2012 this could be a security risk. This means that lights, thermostats, even locks are connected to the Internet so they can be managed remotely. Suppose hackers got into these systems, they could do some serious damage.