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The year in security: Cybercrooks go head to head with state-sponsored hackers

31 Dec 2012

Looking to 2013, the security experts were more concerned regarding the threat posed by cyber criminals.

"Targeted attacks on businesses have only become a prevalent threat within the last two years. Kaspersky Lab expects the amount of targeted attacks, with the purpose of cyber espionage, to continue in 2013 and beyond, becoming the most significant threat for businesses," said Emm.

Trend Micro's security director Rik Ferguson mirrored Emm's sentiment, warning the sophistication of criminals attacks will undoubtedly improve in 2013.

"I think we'll see more advanced custom malware. Combine rapid incorporation of zero-day exploits into exploit kits, the exploit kit market growth, custom ATS scripts, new features in blackhole EK v2 and you have the beginnings of a commodity market for advanced custom malware, it's the next evolution," Ferguson told V3.

"As advertising becomes more personalised, so does everything else, including cybercrime."

The security researchers' warnings follow reports that the threat posed by cybercrime is increasing.

Prior to his 2013 prediction, Sullivan had issued similar warnings, claiming it was only a matter of time before criminals started learning from state-sponsored threats, integrating elements of them into their own attacks.

Despite the increased threat levels, the researchers were all quick to highlight the fact that many governments have already begun to take action.

"2012 will certainly go down as the year when we had proof positive that nations and governments are alive to the military possibilities afforded by digital covert operations," Ferguson told V3.

Ferguson's comments refer to the host of new cyber security reforms announced and implemented by the British government of the last year.

Most recently, the UK's GCHQ unveiled plans to create a new UK Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and a Cyber Reserves force.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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