The year 2018 was another banner one for cybercriminals. Massive data breaches, ATM skimmers and malware attacks dominated the headlines throughout the year.
But no matter which type of attack the scammers use, their final goal is always the same. To steal our personal information and our money.
With 2018 finally winding down, we're going to take a look ahead to next year. Will it be any better? Here are my top data breach predictions that could happen in 2019. Are you ready?
1. A wireless carrier will be attacked
An attack on a major telecommunications company may happen, disabling smartphone communications in the United States. This attack will affect both iPhones and Android smartphones and will steal the personal information of millions of customers.
Similar to an attack on critical infrastructures like power grids and water systems, an attack on a wireless carrier can cripple the entire country.
2. Big portions of the internet will be disabled
It's more than likely that another state-sponsored hacking group or a politically motivated "hacktivist" organization will launch massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on a large part of the internet and hold it for ransom.
DDoS attacks occur when servers are overwhelmed with more traffic than they can handle. These types of attacks are performed with something called a botnet.
If you can recall, back in 2016, a massive DDoS cyberattack was launched against the internet infrastructure company Dyn and it crippled major websites like Twitter, Spotify, Amazon, Netflix, CNN and PayPal as they couldn't be accessed by millions of users.
3. Biometric systems will be cracked
With the rise of biometric security systems like Face ID and fingerprint scanners, hackers will shift their resources to expose flaws and vulnerabilities in these systems.
Once biometric exploits are found, health care, government and financial companies which use fingerprints and facial recognition for security will be at risk of a massive data breach.
4. A leading cloud service will be breached
Top cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) have avoided large-scale hacking so far. Most of the cloud service data breaches that were reported were all from human error.
However, according to Experian, it will be only a matter of time before one of the leading cloud service providers will suffer a massive data breach due to direct hacking. A breach of this scale will be disastrous. It will affect large corporations and internet services, and billions of pieces of customer data will be compromised.
5. A widespread breach will be launched via connected printers
Recently, a hacker managed to take over 50,000 printers remotely and forced them to print posters in support of embattled YouTube star PewDieDie.
This incident demonstrates how easy it is for a determined hacker to compromise internet-connected printers and copiers. The PewDieDie printer hacks may be harmless, but it's just a matter of time before these printer exploits will be used maliciously.
6. A connected car will be hacked and used maliciously
All self-driving cars will have to be interconnected and synchronized for a large-scale deployment to take place.
But as shown by how a Jeep Cherokee can be remotely hacked, the security of these car systems will be extremely vital. Inevitably, a hacker will find a way to launch a cyberattack on a connected car and take complete control.
Prepare for the worst - protect yourself in 2019
Data breaches, malware, phishing scams and other cybersecurity threats are on the rise, and tech companies are struggling to keep up. To protect yourself this coming new year, here are 5 key steps to boost your safety online.
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Microsoft issues another emergency Windows patch to fix critical security bug
Yet again, hackers have found a weak point in Microsoft Windows. I know its getting old, but at least this time Microsoft issued a patch right off the bat. The issue arose from a well-known hacking technique that allowed information to be stolen. While the story is interesting, the way to go about protecting yourself is much more important. I can show you how.