Fox Business just released a list of nine possible hacks that could be affecting consumers later this year. I've covered most of these hacks on my site, and I think this could be a perfect chance to reiterate some of the risks that your computer might be facing this year.
- Personalized DDoS: A DDoS attack is when a hacker floods your Internet connection with requests, shutting it offline. Hackers could use this tactic to ransom your Internet connection.
- Mobile malware: Always be careful about the apps you're downloading. People trust the iOS and Android app stores, but that doesn't mean that an app that seems reasonable won't be infected with something dangerous. Always be sure to download antivirus software onto your mobile device before downloading a new app.
- Public Wi-Fi: No matter how many layers of security a public Wi-Fi access point might have, hackers can still use them to their advantage. 3G, too, might be just as dangerous, "Researchers have recently found that 3G mobile broadband modems could also be vulnerable. Hackers don’t even have to be within range of the wireless signal to launch an attack, it can be done remotely over the Internet."
- Dangerous thumb drives: Next-generation malware might take away the safety that thumb drives once provided. Next-gen malware can supposedly infect a thumb drive's controller chip, making it undetectable to antivirus software. The malware lets hackers hijack your computer and add it to "botnets." You can find out more about keeping your computer away from a botnet by checking out my coverage of GameOver Zeus.
- Digital home invasions: As security depends more and more on Wi-Fi and digital connectivity, hackers could begin disabling your at-home security system from anywhere in the world.
- "Bricking" a computer or data: With the rise of untraceable digital currencies like Bitcoin, more and more hackers have taken to ransoming PCs. They'll advise the user to buy a bitcoin or lose all of their computer's data. And chances are good that they won't be caught.
- Social media identity theft: Your social media accounts are a treasure trove of information about you. If someone wanted to steal your identity, how much of your information could they find on a social media website? You might want to confirm your privacy settings to be sure.
- Password "sniping:" Hackers could use wearable technology like Google Glass to record your PIN numbers, cellphone password, or any other amount of sensitive information.
- Fake websites: The same "phishing" sites as ever, but with better Web design. Always be sure to watch out for where your Internet browsing takes you.