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Cyber Security Emerging Trends and Threats for

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					                       Monthly Cyber Security Newsletter
January 2012                                                                                        Volume 7, Issue 1

                   Cyber Security Emerging Trends and Threats for 2012
During 2011, cyber security incidents included theft          access to data, along with posting of emails,
of intellectual property and government data,                 credentials, credit card information and other
hacktivism, malware targeting mobile devices and a            sensitive exfiltrated information.
resurgence of the Zeus Trojan, which targets
financial information. Protecting against these               Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Poisoning
attacks was a key challenge for organizations of all          Cyber criminals will continue to take advantage of
sizes in both the public and private sectors.                 the 24-hour news cycle to target visitors searching
                                                              on the most popular keywords or sites and infect
What is in store for 2012? Below is a brief roundup           users via sites designed to look like legitimate news
of the cyber security threat landscape highlighting           services, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts/emails,
some of the challenges we can expect during the               LinkedIn updates, YouTube video comments, and
next 12 months.                                               forum conversations. We expect cyber criminals to
                                                              take advantages of notable news events such as
Mobile Devices and Apps                                       the London Olympics, U.S. presidential elections,
The use of mobile devices will continue to grow in            and Mayan calendar predictions.
2012, consequently, so too will the volume of
attacks targeted to these devices. Every new smart            Social Engineering
phone, tablet or other mobile device provides                 Social engineering tactics—including the use of
another window for a potential cyber attack.                  rogue anti-virus to entice users into clicking on
Closely tied to the trend of more smart phones and            malicious links—will continue. Experts also
tablets being deployed in the enterprise will be the          anticipate that in 2012 we will also see a growth in
influx of new apps for those devices. Location-               fake registry cleanup, fake speed improvement
based mobile apps and games all pose potential                software, and fake back-up software mimicking
threats. The risks include access to information              popular personal cloud services.
such as physical location or contacts lists, as well
as the ability for the apps to download malware,              Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)
such as keyloggers or programs that eavesdrop on              APT refers to a long-term pattern of targeted
phone calls and text messages. Hackers are                    hacking attacks using subversive and stealthy
quickly learning how to harvest legitimate                    means to gain continual, persistent exfiltration of
applications and repackage them with malicious                intellectual capital. The entry point for espionage
code before selling/offering them on various                  activities is often the unsuspecting end-user or
channels to the unsuspecting user.                            weak perimeter security. APT is likely to remain
                                                              high in 2012. Whether focused on exploiting
Hactivism                                                     vulnerable networks for use as a storage location or
Attacks carried out as cyber protests for a politically       relay point, or to gain insider information, cyber
or socially motivated purpose are expected to                 espionage will remain a consistent threat to
increase, especially in light of the activist                 networks.
movements continuing to take place across the
country and around the globe. Common strategies               Spear Phishing Attacks
used by hactivist groups include denial of service            Spear phishing is a deceptive communication (e-
attacks and compromise of user credentials to gain            mail, text or tweet) targeting a specific individual,

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seeking to obtain unauthorized access to                   For More Information:
confidential data. Spear phishing attempts are not            • Verizon:
typically initiated by "random hackers" but are more             http://www.verizonbusiness.com/resources/r
likely to be conducted by perpetrators seeking                   eports/rp_data-breach-investigations-report-
financial gain, trade secrets or sensitive                       2011_en_xg.pdf
information. Spear phishing is often the nexus to             • Symantec:
cyber espionage and will continue to grow.                       http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/ent
                                                                 erprise/white_papers/b-
What Can You Do?                                                 symc_intelligence_qtrly_jul_to_sep_WP.en-
By using sound cyber security practices, users and               us.pdf
organizations can strengthen readiness and                    • Websense:
response to help defend against the myriad of                    http://www.websense.com/assets/reports/20
challenges and mitigate potential impacts of                     12-Predictions-WS-Security-
incidents:                                                       Labs.pdf?cmpid=prnr11.11.17
    • Make sure that you have encryption and                  • SANS Institute: Security Predictions 2012 &
       password features enabled on your smart                   2013:
       phones and other mobile devices.                          http://www.sans.edu/research/security-
    • Use strong passwords, ones that combine                    laboratory/article/security-predict2011
       upper and lower case letters, numbers, and             • Georgia Tech: Emerging Cyber Threats
       special characters, and do not share them                 Report:
       with anyone. Use a separate password for               • http://www.gtisc.gatech.edu/doc/emerging_c
       every account. In particular, do not use the              yber_threats_report2012.pdf
       same password for your work account on                 • Imperva: Security Trends 2012:
       any other system.                                         http://www.imperva.com/docs/HI_Security_
    • Properly configure and patch operating                     Trends_2012.pdf
       systems, browsers, and other software
       programs.                                           For more monthly cyber security newsletter
    • Use and regularly update firewalls, anti-            tips, visit:
       virus, and anti-spyware programs.
    • Do not use your work email address as a              http://www.cio.ca.gov/OIS/Government/library/aw
       “User Name” on non-work related sites or            areness.asp or
       systems.                                            http://www.msisac.org/awareness/news/
    • Be cautious about all communications; think          The information provided in the Monthly Security Tips Newsletters is
       before you click. Use common sense when             intended to increase the security awareness of an organization’s end
       communicating with users you DO and DO              users and to help them behave in a more secure manner within their
                                                           work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a
       NOT know. Do not open email or related              home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve
       attachments from un-trusted sources.                the organization’s overall cyber security posture.
    • Don't reveal too much information about
                                                           This newsletter may be copied, used and/or referenced if (1) the
       yourself on social media websites.                  meaning of the copied text is not changed or misrepresented, (2) credit
       Depending on the information you reveal,            is given to the Office of Information Security and any other referenced
       you could become the target of identity or          sources of the subject material, and (3) all copies are distributed free of
                                                           charge.
       property theft.
    • Verify Location Services settings on mobile          Brought to you by:
       devices.
    • Allow access to systems and data only by
       those who need it and protect those access
       credentials.
    • Follow your organization's cyber security
       policies and report violations and issues
       immediately.
    • Learn to recognize a phishing website. Visit
       https://www.phish-no-phish.com to learn
       ways to identify a phished website.
                                                                                  www.infosecurity.ca.gov




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