Spyware, malware attacks predicted to increase in 2014

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 16:42

Viet Nam's internet security company Bkav said that computers in the country may be infected with spyware and malware in 2014. Photo phapluatxahoi.vn
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Experts from Bkav, a leading Vietnamese Internet security company, have said that spyware, malware and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks will continue to pose major risks in 2014.

In 2013, hackers took advantage of security loopholes in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint and inserted spyware to monitor users' activities on computers. At the end of last year, a new form of phishing also came to light: Users were sent emails with resized photos attached to documents. When the users clicked on the photo to view a larger photo, they activated the spyware hidden in these photos.

Ngo Tuan Anh, the deputy director of the firm's Internet security division, said: "All computers will be vulnerable to spyware due to this form of phishing. In fact, this new technique of phishing will become more widely used and a new trend in 2014."

In addition, the connection between computers and smartphones is encouraging hackers to create malware that can operate across platforms. Experts also believe that the incidences of fake software and applications aimed at infecting smartphones with viruses are set to increase this year. After Instagram and the highly popular Angry Birds game, popular browsers, such as Firefox and Google Chrome, have also been targeted for the transportation of malware.

A description of an DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack. Photo courtesy of Bkav

Last year, the online versions of some top Vietnamese newspapers experienced a series of DDoS attacks. Bkva's analysis showed that these attacks relied on the existence of a large network system, which managed to infect several computers simultaneously. Armed with the knowledge that users downloaded content without paying attention to the content's origin, hackers inserted malware in the software and in the applications. When users downloaded the software/applications, their computers became infected and they joined the large community of infected users.

To counter such attacks, experts suggest that users should become more aware of the origin of their downloaded content and should, ideally, only download content from reliable software stores operated by well-known providers.

"Last year, there were several cyber security threats not just in Viet Nam, but also around the world. The world of connectivity has given us several advantages and disadvantages. That's why we always strive to issue warnings and provide solutions for users. That way, we can protect them and increase their awareness of Internet security," Anh added. — VNS

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