Malware, Vulnerability Management

Botnet cyber army to arise, China to outpace Russia in hacking: report

The cyberthreat security firm IID is forecasting the connected devices that will comprise the Internet of Things (IoT) universe are likely to be banded together in a botnet army and used to launch massive attacks by 2017.

IID forecast in a new report that the botnet zombie horde will be recruited through malware installed on IoT devices and will be utilized for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) against large corporations, pay-per-click fraud, along with various extortion schemes. The reason IID believes this will happen is IoT devices, while containing strong computing capabilities, will not have the needed security on board.

"The increasingly advanced technical capabilities of IoT devices such as autonomous consumer-grade drones and smart appliances will not be able to keep pace with security and privacy requirements. This will drive large-scale compromises of IoT devices," Sean Tierney, IID vice president of threat intelligence, wrote in the report.

The company's next prediction sees the current downturn in the Chinese economy leading to a major increase in organized criminal activity in that country to the point where it could surpass what is now taking place in Easter Europe. IID peered even further down the road and predicted that what it called the current Russian Chinese Cyber Alliance will fall apart by 2019 after the new Chinese gangs begin to attack companies and people in this region. This will eventually lead to a cyber gang where with the rival groups attack each other.

In addition to the potential increase in Chinese cybercrime, IID is predicting the failure of many generic top-level domains (gTLD) in 2017. The company said that since ICANN began issuing gTLDs in 2013 adoption has lagged and many of those that remain are filled with fraudulent and junk registrations so they are blocked by security software.

“Should a gTLD go down, it would take any resident websites, email or other services with it, forcing their owners to scramble for new virtual real estate,” the report said.

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