What will cybercrime look like in 2020?

24 Feb 2011
Virus News

Kaspersky Lab presents its forecast for the IT threat landscape for the period 2011-2020. The forecast is based on an analysis of the main changes and issues in the sphere of IT security over the past decade, as well as emerging trends in the development of personal computers, mobile phones and operating systems.

According to the company’s analysts, the most significant trends of the next nine years will be:

The end of Microsoft’s OS domination

Though Microsoft’s brainchild will remain the primary business platform, everyday users will have access to an ever-expanding variety of alternative operating systems. The growing number of new operating systems will affect the process of threat creation. Cybercriminals will not be able to create malicious code for large numbers of platforms. This leaves them with two options: either target multiple operating systems and have many individual devices under their control, or specialise in Windows-based attacks on corporations.

Two main groups of cybercriminals in 2020

Cybercrime in 2020 will almost assuredly divide into two groups. One group will specialise in attacks on businesses, sometimes to order. Commercial espionage, database theft and corporate reputation-smearing attacks will be much in demand on the black market. Hackers and corporate IT specialists will confront each other on the virtual battlefield.

The second group of cybercriminals will target those things that influence our everyday lives, such as transport systems and other services. Hacking such systems and stealing from them, making free use of them and the removal and changing of personal data about customers’ activities will be the main focus of attention of the new generation of hackers, who will make a living this way.

Evolution of Botnets

Botnets, one of today’s most potent IT threats, will evolve dramatically. They will incorporate more mobile and Internet-enabled devices, and zombie computers will become a thing of the past.

Exponential growth of mobile spam

By 2020, communication via the Internet with the help of a keyboard will be a thing of the past, meaning spammers will need to seek out new ways of delivering their unwanted correspondence across the globe. The volume of mobile spam will grow exponentially, while the cost of Internet-based communications will shrink due to the intensive development of cellular communication systems.

The experts at Kaspersky Lab believe that in 2020 the old adage ‘Knowledge is power’ will be more relevant than ever before. The struggle for the means to collect, manage, store and use information, about everything and everybody, will define the nature of threats for the next decade. Therefore the problem of privacy protection will be one of the key issues of the decade.

The full cybercrime outlook 2020 report is available at: www.securelist.com/en