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December 18, 2012

IID Predicts Cybercrimes will Worsen in Coming Years

By Kasey Schefflin-Emrich, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Since the onset of computers and cellular devices, hackers have devised numerous ways to steal information and people's identities. While cyberthreats and cybercrimes are becoming normalized in society, things may get a whole lot worse in the coming years.

A new study by IID, a provider of products and services intended to protect against cyber attacks, predicts new forms of cybercrime in the near future, such as using the Internet to execute a murder and using NFC-enabled devices to steal information about an individual's bank account, and thus taking his or her money.

According to the study, the notion of criminals causing death by the use of the Internet is not far-fetched given the fact that mostly all devices are controlled by an Internet connection in some way. Such devices include a pacemaker, which can be tuned remotely, and an IV drip, which can be turned off by clicking a mouse.

"With so many devices being Internet-connected, it makes murdering people remotely relatively simple, at least from a technical perspective," Rod Rasmussen, president and CTO of IID, said in a statement. "That's horrifying. Killings can be carried out with a significantly lower chance of getting caught, much less convicted, and if human history shows us anything, if you can find a new way to kill, it will be eventually be used."

Moreover, NFC-enabled devices, which allow features such as remote payments and the automatic exchange of peer-to-peer information between two devices fairly close to each other, will possess another danger. Despite the fact that the technology used in NFC is secure, there will nonetheless be opportunities for security breaches.

"The amount of banking and point of sale e-commerce apps that are being developed utilizing NFC is astronomical," Paul Ferguson, vice president of Threat Intelligence at IDD, said in a statement. "This is a gold mine for cybercriminals and we have already seen evidence that they are working to leverage these apps to siphon money."

In addition these two cybercrimes, other cyber events expected to take place by 2014 include attacks by government-generated malware, a successful cyber attack on a major infrastructure such as the power grid and an attack on military drones.

While siphoning money and malware software is nothing new, attacks on infrastructure and military drones will take cyber threats to a whole new level. Additionally, if IID's predictions are right, we may soon be hearing a new term to describe murders--"death by device.”

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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