A series of spectacular cyberattacks drew headlines this year, and the situation will only worsen next year as hackers use more advanced techniques to infiltrate networks, security researchers said yesterday.
McAfee Labs’ 2015 Threats Predictions report sees increased cyberwarfare and espionage, along with new strategies from hackers to hide their tracks and steal sensitive data.
“Cyberespionage attacks will continue to increase in frequency,” the report said. “Long-term players will become stealthier information gatherers, while newcomers will look for ways to steal money and disrupt their adversaries.”
McAfee said small nations and terror groups will become even more active and will “attack by launching crippling distributed denial of service attacks or using malware that wipes the master boot record to destroy their enemies’ networks.”
At the same time, cybercriminals will use better methods to remain hidden on a victim’s network, to carry out long-term theft of data without being detected, the researchers said.
“In this way, criminals are beginning to look and act more like sophisticated nation-state cyberespionage actors, who watch and wait to gather intelligence,” the report said.
The report also said hackers are looking to target more connected devices, including computers in the farming, manufacturing and healthcare sectors.
“The number and variety of devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) family is growing exponentially. In the consumer space, they are now seen in appliances, automobiles, home automation and even light bulbs,” McAfee said.
McAfee said it is already seeing hackers targeting devices such as Web cams with weak security and industrial control systems. However, it sees healthcare as an especially worrisome sector.
“With the increasing proliferation of healthcare IoT devices and their use in hospitals, the threat of the loss of information contained on those devices becomes increasingly likely,” the report said.
It said that healthcare data “is even more valuable than credit card data” on hacker black markets.
McAfee says other threats will also grow, including “ransomware,” which locks down data and forces the victim to pay a ransom to retrieve it, and attacks on mobile phone operating systems. In the retail sector, digital payments may cut the risk of credit-card skimmers, but hackers may be able to exploit wireless systems such as Bluetooth and near field communications (NFC) used for mobile payments.
“With consumers now sending payment information over a protocol with known vulnerabilities, it is highly likely that attacks on this infrastructure will emerge in 2015,” the report said.
The report comes in the wake of news about large-scale cyberattacks that have been linked to Russia or China, and a major infiltration of Sony Pictures, which stole massive amounts of data.
In retail, Home Depot and others have reported data breaches affecting millions of customers.
“The year 2014 will be remembered as the year of shaken trust,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president at Intel-owned McAfee. “Restoring trust in 2015 will require stronger industry collaboration, new standards for a new threat landscape, and new security postures that shrink time-to-detection.”
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
NERVOUS MARKET: With the infection sources still unknown for three COVID-19 cases that had departed Taiwan, investors have become uneasy, an analyst said Local shares yesterday came under heavy downward pressure, falling more than 1 percent as renewed fears over a possible increase in domestic COVID-19 infections hit market sentiment after the nation last week reported a case related to a Belgian national. Selling focused on the bellwether electronics sector, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which pushed down the broader market as investors ignored gains posted by tech heavyweights on the US market at the end of last week, dealers said. The TAIEX closed down 151.77 points, or 1.2 percent, at 12,513.03, on turnover of NT$231.43 billion (US$7.84 billion). Foreign