Technology is ever changing, and cyber-criminals will be ever adapting to it. Recently, MIT’s Technology Review published an article relating to technology security threats that we must be aware if in 2012. As many of us spend a significant amount of time online, being conscious of these threats can help guard valuable data.
Stolen, Spoofed Certificates
The biggest problem that the Technology Review article dealt with is the growing amount 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 could actually spoof or steal a number of these certificates. This can help them steal user data or install harmful software on their computers.
A Common Security Mechanism in Trouble?
This is a major problem because 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 potential trouble for all computer users.
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. They also target companies to demonstrate the vulnerability and weakness of them. Technology Review believes that groups like these will continue “hacktivism” for a long time.
In 2012 another security risk is the growing popularity of home automation. People connect alarm systems, lights, even locks, to the web to automate their homes. If reliable companies are not used or if hackers get into these systems think of the damage that can be done.