For some years we have been covering IT security news and have been writing about spam, spyware, hacking and many other online nuisances. Usually in January we try to look ahead on what might dominate IT security the upcoming year. At the same time we look back at the recently passed year and the stories that grabbed the most traffic to our site. It is normally a good way to see what has concerned Internet users most. This year is no exeption!
1. The terrible story of the disturbing disappearance of flight MH370 from Malaysian Airlines and the related hacking of central computers peaked in early September and is our most read article in 2014. You can read the full story on MH370 and hacking here.
2. When scammers use phishing and exploit the biggest online services it’s going to draw a lot of attention. This year a news item about Yahoo and phishing got a nice 2nd spot on our list.
3rd and 4th places this year are both related to WhatsApp spam. Actually these stories were written back in 2013, but still managed to top our list in 2014. WhatsApp is definitely popular among users and scammers. You can read about WhatsApp spam here and here.
Now to our predictions for 2015
Years ago they said that e-mail as a media for communication would die. We have not seen anything yet, suggesting that it is dead. The sheer volume of e-mails we filter here at SPAMfighter and the volume of newsletters sent by marketers show that it is still an important factor in most peoples’ lives. Sadly spammers will continue with many kinds of spamming and phishing attempts. So sadly, no decline in spam in 2015!
Focus for hackers was typically hacking into major companies and organizations or the spreading of malware worldwide. In 2014 the media have reported several incidents of nations hacking other nations. North Korea was mentioned as an aggressor lately and eg. the German Bundeskansler was mentioned as a victim.
Sony was a victim of a major databreach late in the year and doubtless we will see more incidents of that kind in 2015. New mobile payment methods might be targetted by criminals.
2014 saw the end of Windows XP support. It would make sense for malware producers to aim for those 18% of Windows users, who are still using Windows XP (according to NetmarketShare). Also we can look forward to Windows 10 in 2015. That might also grab some scammers’ interest with fake offers for upgrades from malware ridden websites.