Businesses should brace themselves for Internet traffic hijacking and sophisticated attacks on computerized control systems in 2011, according to a cybersecurity expert.
In an interview with ComputerWeekly, Rodney Joffe, senior vice president and senior technologist at Neustar, said those two trends are indicated by the discovery of Stuxnet and China’s hijacking of 15 percent of the world’s web traffic for 18 minutes early in 2010.
According to Joffe, Stuxnet represents a new generation of stealthy and targeted attacks that are likely to become increasingly popular with cyber criminals in 2011 as a way to target financial systems, particularly ATMs. However, this target area could also include any computer-controlled systems such as the heating and lift systems in office blocks, he said.
While large industrial companies generally know about the threat, mid- and lower-level organizations such as air-conditioner, lift and aircraft manufacturers were oblivious to the relevance of Stuxnet, Joffe told ComputerWeekly.
Another challenge for IT managers in the new year will be the theft of intellectual property, both for financial gain by criminals, and industrial espionage through Internet traffic rerouting, Joffe said. To remedy this problem, IT managers should adopt a mechanism to help identify when their traffic is being routed through illegitimate third-party infrastructure, he added.
However, the danger is that rerouting can be done by any network engineer, and currently there is no way to prevent it, Joffe warned.