As technology changes cyber-criminals adapt to it. Recently MIT's Technology Review published an article about the biggest technology security threats of 2012. A lot of us spend a lot of our time online: working, surfing the Web, or just chatting with friends via social media. If you spend time online, being aware of these threats can help guard you and your data.
Stolen, Spoofed Certificates
The biggest problem that the Technology Review article covered is the growing number of stolen or spoofed certificates. As the article reports, every time 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 could actually spoof or steal several of these certificates. This can help them steal user data or install vicious software on their computers.
A Common Security Mechanism in Trouble?
This is a major problem as the use of certificates and encrypted data is the most common security mechanism on the web. If they can no longer be trusted, that means possible trouble for all computer users.
Another common security concern is what is known as “Hacktivism”. Cyber-criminals look at this as activism through hacking, hence the name. Groups like Anonymous and LulzSec target large businesses that they believe are guilty of wrongdoing. They also target companies to demonstrate the vulnerability and weakness of them. Technology Review thinks that groups like these will continue “hacktivism” for a long time.
The growing popularity of home automation also creates security risks in 2012. As Technology Review writes, a growing amount of automation systems connect alarm systems, thermostats, lights, as well as the locks to homes' front doors to the internet. Imagine the damage that hackers can do should they break into these systems.