Growth in online extortion, hacktivism and mobile malware expected for 2016

But organisations will adopt 'offensive' cyber-security posture to counteract threats, Trend Micro predicts

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Growth in online extortion, hacktivism and mobile malware expected for 2016 Online extortion will be accelerated through the use of psychological analysis and social engineering, Trend Micro said
By  Tom Paye Published  November 1, 2015

Continued growth in online extortion, hacktivism and mobile malware is expected through 2016, according to the Trend Micro 2016 Security Predictions report.

Laying out a number of predictions for the cyber-security domain for the next year, Trend Micro added that it expected to see a shift to an offensive cyber-security posture to counteract the growing number of threats.

"We anticipate 2016 to be a very significant year for both sides of the cyber-crime equation," said Raimund Genes, CTO, Trend Micro.

"Governments and enterprises will begin to see the benefit of cyber-security foresight, with changes in legislation and the increasing addition of cyber-security officers within enterprises. In addition, as users become more aware of online threats, attackers will react by developing sophisticated, personalised schemes to target individuals and corporations alike."

According to the report, 2016 will also mark a significant turning point for malvertising. In the US alone, 48% of consumers use online ad blocking software, with a 41% increase in global use this year, Trend Micro said. As a result, the vendor predicted that advertisers will seek to alter their approach to online ads, and cyber-criminals will attempt to find other ways to obtain user information.

Meanwhile, online extortion will be accelerated through the use of psychological analysis and social engineering of prospective victims, Trend Micro said. And hacktivists will be driven to expose even more incriminating information, impacting targets, and facilitating secondary infections, the vendor added.

"Hackers consistently evolve to adapt to their surroundings, just as online ads are declining, we see ransomware is increasing," said Tom Kellermann, chief cyber-security officer, Trend Micro.

"Despite the growth in security investments and legislation, these changes will inevitably bring new, more sophisticated attack vectors."

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