Apple Security Flaws

More security vulnerabilities will appear in the software of Adobe and Apple than in Microsoft’s, more attacks on the Internet’s infrastructure will occur, and cybersecurity events will stoke international tensions. Those are a few of the predictions for 2017 that security experts shared with TechNewsWorld.

Users of Apple desktops and laptops for years have been relatively insulated from the kinds of malicious activity that has besieged those in the Windows world, but that’s going to change next year, warned Trend Micro.

More software flaws will affect Adobe and Apple in 2017, compared to Microsoft, the company noted in a security predictions report.

Declining PC sales and an exodus to mobile platforms have dampened interest in targeting devices running Windows, Trend Micro explained. Microsoft also has upped its security game in recent times, which has made it more difficult for attackers to find vulnerabilities in Windows.

Signs of hackers’ increased interest in Adobe and Apple started appearing in 2016, Trend Micro noted. Zero day vulnerabilities — flaws unknown to researchers until malicious actors exploit them — numbered 135 for Adobe compared to 76 for Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Apple’s vulnerability count during the same period increased to 50, shooting up from 25 in 2015.

The increased attention Apple has drawn from criminals can be associated with its growing success in the desktop and laptop market.

“There’s a much broader use of Apple products now,” said Ed Cabrera, vice president of cybersecurity strategy at Trend Micro.

“The criminals go where consumers and enterprises are,” he told TechNewsWorld. “If consumers and enterprises are utilizing more Apple products, then that’s where they’re going to focus their activity, because that’s where the money is going to be.”

Upstream Attacks

Distributed denial of service attacks long have functioned as a cyberweapon against websites, but their use reached a new level in 2016, when they disrupted Internet service in parts of North America and Europe by choking an important piece of Net infrastructure: the domain name system.

The DNS converts domain names into corresponding IP addresses. If a domain name can’t be paired with its IP address, then a browser becomes lost on the Net.

More “upstream” attacks on the Internet will take place in 2017, said Chase Cunningham, director of cyberoperations at A10 Networks.

“If you’re an enemy of someone who depends on the Internet for business or commerce, last year it was shown that if you upstream a little bit and launch a crafted Denial of Service attack, you can bring down large provider websites and infrastructure,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“In 2017, we’re going to see more upstream attacks, and DDoS is going to make a comeback as a cyberweapon,” Cunningham said. “We’re going to see a powerful denial of service attack on something that will cause problems for a national infrastructure.”