Kaspersky Lab’s Threat Forecast for 2014 Coming to Fruition

Kaspersky Lab’s Threat Forecast for 2014 Coming to Fruition

The digital world resembles the Wild West when it comes to how cyber criminals are roaming the environment looking to exploit vulnerabilities. Even though there are lawmen trying to stop the outlaws, their numbers around the world makes it impossible to catch everyone. As one of the good guys, Kaspersky Labs has been fighting for more than 16 years to provide reliable digital security and ads removal solutions for consumers, large enterprises and SMBs around the world.

The Kaspersky forecast is eagerly anticipated because of the potential threats it highlights, giving everyone a glimpse of the dangers they will face in the coming months. The threat forecast for 2014 was published in December of 2013, and three months after the prediction, all three of their ‘end user forecasts’ were confirmed.

The company said privacy would be targeted, and in February Kaspersky detected the first Android Trojan that uses a domain in the .onion pseudo zone as a C&C (command and conquer).

Money was also one of the predicted targets, and Trojans were spread through mobile platforms to steal money with malicious aps. The global reach of the Faketoken mobile banking Trojan affected 55 countries around the world including Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S.

Bitcoin was the last forecast and the hack of MtGox resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy after losing hundreds of millions of dollars. A malware written after the personal blog and Reddit account of MtGox CEO, Mark Karpeles was hacked continued searching for and stealing Bitcoin wallet files from victims.

The report for the first quarter of 2014 points to a growing trend in which there are more attacks. The first alarming number is the increase of mobile malwares, with Kaspersky documenting 299,950 samples so far in the year. This is more than 100,000 for the whole of 2013, which stood at 189,626. This was to be expected as more people continue to migrate to mobile solution, but the numbers are extraordinary.

Additional reports in the quarter include:

At least one web-based attack was detected by 33.2 percent of user computers in the world in the past three months, which was a 5.9 percent decrease during the same period the previous year.

The web attacks carried out using malicious web resources came from many different countries, but 39 percent of neutralized web attacks came from the U.S. and Russia, which was 5 percent higher for both countries than in Q1 of 2013.

Mobile attacks targeting Android exceeded 99 percent of all mobile malware.

A major cyber-espionage incident was detected in February targeting confidential information belonging to state agencies, embassies, energy companies, research institutes and private investment companies, as well as activists from 31 countries. The Mask or Caretois considered by Kaspersky to be one of the most advanced threats currently out there, leading the company to conclude it could be a state-sponsored operation.

“As well as new incidents, we saw the continuation of campaigns that had seemingly already ended. For instance, after cybercriminals had shut down all the known command servers involved in the Icefog operation, we detected a Java version of the threat. The previous attack had primarily targeted organizations in South Korea and Japan, but the new version, judging by the IP addresses tracked, was only interested in US organizations,” commented Alexander Gostev, chief security expert, Global Research and Analysis Team.

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Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He is a contributar at tripwire.com, a website dedicated to covering the top security stories and providing useful tips for the everyday and expert users.