Friday, November 21, 2008

‘Tis the season of folly

December holidays are approaching, and we all know what that means… increased hacker activity as our precious youths get bored and turn to mayhem and destruction.

And to make matters worse, this time of year is always characterised by a manic rush for last-minute Christmas shopping – a lot of which is done online.

Also, with many people being on leave, companies might not have IT staff available to monitor and pick up attack behaviour.

This makes a killer combination for cybercrime instances – and we can expect to see a lot of people being duped, a lot of wesbites being defaced, and a many different malware popping up.

This year’s ‘Black Monday’ for malware is predicted for next week (November 24) – a day that is expected to be the worst of the year for computer attacks.

According to Adam Biviano, spokesman for Trend Micro, he expects to see a large increase in hackers using holiday-related tools such as electronic greeting cards as a front for attacks.

"It's typical for the orchestrators of malware attacks to make use of public holidays, make use of special occasions, because it gives them an angle from which to attract people to click on their link [or] download their attachment," he says.

Carlo Minassian, chief executive of Earthwave, says, “"It should be expected spamming and phishing will increase in the immediate future as we approach the upcoming Christmas period. Trends from past years indicate spamming and phishing spikes around this time."

So have a good weekends, guys – Monday’s set to be a scorcher ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

South Africa prioritises cyber security

South Africa seems to be waking up nicely to the threat of cyber crime. Roy Padayachie, Deputy communications minister, spoke at a high-level security conference in Geneva recently about our commitment locally.

“Clearly an effective cyber security framework is not merely a matter of government or law enforcement practices, but has to be addressed through prevention supported by society,” he said.

He also made mention of a very important fact – that security should not be left to technology alone. “Therefore,” he stated, “priority must be given to cyber security planning and management throughout society.”

According to his speech, South Africa intends to strengthen collaboration and partnerships at the national level through the establishment of a government-industry collaboration forum.

He said “Cyber threats or attacks do not recognise borders or laws; therefore, governments, business and civil society globally should work together to protect and secure their national cyber space and critical infrastructure. Governments throughout the world are not able to deal with the emerging threat on their own.”

This is great news for the country. As the 2010 World Cup draws eerily near, South Africa can expect to become a very lucrative target for cyber criminals, and it is best to have as many security measures in place as soon as possible. The many attacks populated near, during and after this year’s Olympics are a perfect example of how criminals take advantage of world events.

More on Padayachi’s speech can be found on ITWeb.