Kaspersky Labs sees cold ‘cyber-war’ emergence

The era of cold “cyber-war” may be just around the corner.

“Looking ahead, we can expect more countries to develop cyber weapons—designed to steal information or sabotage systems—not least because the entry-level for developing such weapons is much lower than is the case with real-world weapons,” said Costin Raiu, director of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT).

GReAT said that a more pressing concern is the rise of cyber-attacks authorized by nation-states.

“The targets for such cyber-attacks could include energy supply and transportation control facilities, financial and telecommunications systems and other ‘critical infrastructure’ facilities,” Raiu said.

Governments, pressured by the growing threat of cyber-attacks against their infrastructure, are also compelled to use technology for monitoring suspected cybercriminals, a serious security breach that could put law enforcement into question.

“Clearly, the use of legal surveillance tools has wider implications for privacy and civil liberties.

And as law enforcement agencies, and governments, try to get one step ahead of the criminals, it’s likely that the use of such tools—and the debate surrounding their use—will continue,” Raiu said.

Kaspersky Lab also said that cyber-espionage, “hacktivism,” and nation-state cyber-attacks made it to the list of top predictions that will shape the digital security landscape for 2013.

The report, entitled Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2012: Malware Evolution, also lists legal use of surveillance tools, attacks on cloud-based networks, cyber extortion on companies and individual Internet users, and mobile malware as among the top predictions for 2013.

Other top predictions include fake security certificates, deterioration of personal privacy, the development of more Mac OS malicious software, and cybercriminals’ growing use of software exploits.

Incidentally, some of the predictions for 2013 mentioned in the report are also rooted on incidences for 2012, including an escalation of serious types of cybercrime such as targeted attacks on companies, “hacktivism,” attacks on cloud-based infrastructure, deterioration of digital privacy, issues with online trust and digital authorities, attacks on Mac OS X malware and mobile malware, and ransomware and crypto-extortion.


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