The word “black sheep” is an idiom used to describe an odd or disreputable member of a group. AhnLab choose the word as the technology or environment that we use conveniently usually can be changed into a “black sheep”, threatening the security of groups or individuals.
The word “SHEEP” is an acronym of five trends threatening cyber security: stronger attacks against mobile payments and Internet banking; high-level customized malware for targeted attacks; emerging security issues in the POS system; extensive open source exploitation and information breach; and protecting the IoT environment.
Recently, as mobile financial services expanded in scope and scale from simple banking to mobile payments, transaction volumes continue to increase. According to market research institute Gartner, the total amount of mobile payments will reach US$616 billion from 447.9 million people in 2016.
AhnLab expects that malware will be placed targeting not only mobile banking but mobile payment services. It cautioned that various web exploit toolkits would be expected to spread among banks, card companies, stock brokers and other financial institutions.
In addition, AhnLab forecasted that the targeted malware would increase while the methods of spreading malware evolve. It used spear phishing email as an example that targets certain people or groups disguising itself as invitation letters to relevant events, while actually containing malware.
As the Internet of Things becomes the talk of town in the IT industry, security issues will be raised as the connectivity between devices means more targets for cyber-attacks. As most IoT devices are linked by wireless networks, AhnLab warned that more attacks on WiFi access points should be expected.
An official at AhnLab said, “This year, cyber-attacks will become more delicate and keep expanding, so individuals and groups need to follow their security guidelines to prevent such attacks. In addition, cyber warfare among countries will be more intensified this year.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)