Government Technology

Report: Mobile and Windows 8 Platforms Will be Targets in 2013

February 1, 2013 By

Sophisticated mobile threats, Windows 8 infiltration and large-scale attacks on human population centers are among McAfee Labs’ cyber threat predictions for 2013. In Jan., researchers at the company released their 2013 Threats Predictions report, citing the rise of adaptable and frequent cyberattacks that target global critical infrastructure systems. 

This stark forecast came the same month that the Pentagon began planning to expand its cybersecurity forces to more than five times their current size. Recent events and increasingly scary predictions paint a grim picture of the future of cyberwarfare. 

“We do see that there’s a shifting trend here concerning large-scale attacks, more in the aspect of disrupting operations,” said researcher Ryan Sherstobitoff, referencing the Shamoon virus attack that shut down 30,000 computers simultaneously in Saudi Arabia in 2012. According to Reuters, Shamoon replaced system files with garbage data, including images of burning American flags, rendering the computers useless.

Sherstobitoff told Government Technology that the world will experience more of these attacks where the purpose is to harm machines on a massive scale, not steal information.

But data theft will still occur in the public sector, despite criminals’ thirst for chaos and destruction. “People who are interested in government targets are not interested in stealing money from bank accounts; they’re interested in stealing intellectual property,” Sherstobitoff explained.

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Deb    |    Commented February 5, 2013

This would be because Windows 8 is pathetic. It is designed for touch screens, even though the majority of business computers are NOT touch screens. It is difficult to navigate, and it is buggy. And it is based on turning everything into "apps" that don't work right as apps, and have all the downsides of apps. An app on a phone is fine. An app on your work computer is frustrating, limiting, and rife with potential problems. (See the Google Chrome Windows 8 version.) So, the vast amount of potential holes in this system makes it ripe for attack.

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