Why black holes were the biggest threat to your devices in 2012

And the rise and rise of state-sponsored cyber war

Why black holes were the biggest threat to your devices in 2012

Black holes were a dominant factor in 2012's cybercrime-wave, with Sophos' annual report showing how our move to mobile tech is bringing back some old enemies.

Of course, we're talking about the Blackhole exploit kit, which managed to propagate all kinds of nasties including ransomware and fake antivirus solutions along with the normal malware.

The chief problem for users was redirects – normally taking advantage of hacked legitimate sites to push people into cyber crime's back yard.

Mobility

As we all go mobile with our data, and our hardware, old skool attacks are becoming more common once more; yep – we're in the era of the retro virus.

And if you happen to live in Hong Kong, Taiwan or the UAE then you are at the top of the risk tree, with Norway, Sweden, Japan and Britain statistically the safest places to surf.

"2012 was a year of new platforms and modern malware," explained Sophos.

"What was once a homogeneous world of Windows systems, is now a landscape made up of diverse platforms. Modern malware is taking advantage of these trends."

eWar! Huh! What's it good for?

The report also looked at the rise of state-sponsored cyber attacks, concluding that, although difficult to prove, the capability for countries to sanction eWar on enemies of their state is growing.

"By their very nature, state-sponsored cyber attacks (and attacks by highly-sophisticated private teams closely allied with states) are difficult to track and prove—and equally susceptible to being overhyped," said Sophos' report.

"Nevertheless, more actors appear to be developing the capability to execute such attacks. And, once they possess such a capability, the temptation to use it will be substantial."