Following the spate of large-scale data breaches happening this year, Trend Micro Incorporated predicts that there will be a rise of targeted attack campaigns across the Asia Pacific region in 2015.
This is according to an annual security predictions report by the security software company, titled 'Trend Micro Security Predictions for 2015 and Beyond: The Invisible Becomes Visible'.
According to the report, targeted attack campaigns will continue to multiply in 2015. Noteworthy cases in the United States and China show that targeted attacks have become a preferred means of intelligence gathering for cybercriminals. The motivations behind these campaigns include obtaining financial information, personal data, and top secret classified government data.
Trend Micro threat defense experts also predict that targeted attacks will continue to sprout outside of commonly targeted areas like the U.S. The company has already noted attacks against organisations in Vietnam and India, and recently in Malaysia and Indonesia, and said that we can expect future attacks in other APAC countries.
In particular, social media will increasingly be abused as infection vectors. Threat actors will also explore the viability of exploiting router vulnerabilities as a means of getting in to target networks.
"What we are seeing today is not a huge surprise. Cybercriminals have increased their velocity and the brutal measures they use to steal information," said Dhanya Thakkar, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Trend Micro. "Following the success of targeted attacks from Chinese and Russian cybercriminals, many attackers from other countries will regard cyber-attacks as a more practical method to grab a foothold in an organisation."
Users should expect that at least one of their accounts, whether on web services or online portals, will be compromised. The prevalence of social media usage in APAC - with about 970 million active social media users - will make users in the region viable targets. Given the predicted increase of attacks next year, cybercriminals will have more opportunities to steal user credentials. As a result, users must become more diligent when it comes to password use and online security.
The increased adoption of mobile devices will also increase the risk for mobile users. Android -the top mobile platform in APAC, making up an average of 71% of total impressions - has a fragmentation problem. This means the software version running on a user's device is dictated by hardware support. Cybercriminals can take advantage of this fragmentation problem by developing exploits for existing device vulnerabilities that have not yet been patched.
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