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Attacks on hardware and firmware to rise in 2016

Anuradha Shukla | Dec. 9, 2015
Security predictions for 2016 and beyond from Intel Security's McAfee Labs

Attacks on all types of hardware and firmware will likely continue in 2016, according to a newly released McAfee Labs Threats Predictions Report by Intel Security.

The market for tools that enable attacks on all types of hardware and firmware will also expand next year.

While virtual machines could be targeted with system firmware rootkits, anonymising networks and payment methods could continue to fuel the major and rapidly growing threat of ransomware.

Greater numbers of inexperienced cybercriminals will leverage ransomware-as-a-service offerings and wearable platforms could be targeted by cybercriminals working to compromise the smartphones used to manage them.

"Southeast Asia continues to develop rapidly, and this requires organisations in the region to match the intelligence exchange, cloud computing and delivery power, platform agility, and human resource assets that cybercriminals regularly leverage," said Craig Nielsen, managing director, Southeast Asia. "To win battles against future threats, organisations should consider adopting the strategy of protect, detect and correct. This connected approach by Intel Security brings networks and endpoints together through an extensible framework, centralised management and visibility across all threat vectors."

Protecting against potential attack 

The report predicts that the industry will work towards protecting potential attack surfaces such as operating system kernels, networking and WiFi software, user interfaces, memory, local files and storage systems.

Organisations will continue to improve their security postures, implement the latest security technologies, and work to hire talented and experienced people.

Cybercriminals may exploit weak or ignored corporate security policies established to protect cloud services.

Security researchers will continue to focus on potential exploit scenarios for connected automobile systems lacking foundational security capabilities or failing to meet best practice security policies.

Findings of the report also indicate that IT security vendors and automakers will proactively work together to develop guidance, standards, and technical solutions to protect attack surfaces such as vehicle access system engine control units (ECUs), and engine and transmission ECUs.


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