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Cyber criminals exploiting mobile technology, harder to track: Report

Cyber criminals exploiting mobile technology, harder to track: Report

Cyber criminals are increasing their use of advanced methods to launch attacks that are untraceable and difficult to take down, while also exploiting mobile technology more often, says the European Union's cyber security agency in a new report.

“Threats of all kinds that were encountered in the more traditional arena of (information technology) will prevail on mobile devices and the services available on these platforms,” says the European Network and Information Security Agency's interim Threat Landscape 2013 report, issued Wednesday. “The proliferation of mobile devices will lead to an amplification of abuse based on knowledge/attack vectors targeting to social media.”

Other developments highlighted by the report are:

• The consumerization of malware, cyber-hacking tools and services that, with the availability of digital currencies and anonymous payment services, will open up new avenues for cyber fraud and criminal activity.

• The possibility of large impacts, when attacks combining these threats are successfully launched.

• An increase in infrastructure threats in 2013.

The study also discusses developments regarding the threats identified in 2012.

It states, for instance, that there is a shift in the preferred means to distribute malware from botnets, which are networks of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled without the owners' knowledge, to malicious URLs, which are harder targets for law enforcement to take down.

The full report is due by the end of the year. Copies of the interim report, “ENISA Threat Landscape, Mid-year 2013,” are available here.

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