2018 was a banner year for hackers as data breaches continued to dominate the news. Cyber-criminals enjoyed success using ATM skimmers, malware and ransomware attacks along with circumventing so-called cyber security measures that the U.S. Freedom Act has put in place. By allowing the government access to U.S. based systems via “back-doors”, they have created a pathway for hackers to access our systems. No matter the type of attack they utilize, their final goal is always the same; stealing our personal information and our money.
Now that 2018 has come to an end, let us look ahead to 2019. It’s not going to get better but worse.
Here are my top data breach predictions that could happen in 2019
Google will be hacked
It’s just a matter of time as the prize jewel is constantly being targeted worldwide by not only hackers but by nefarious countries. Google has already been careless with allowing nefarious apps into their PLAY store. My prediction is that they will gain access to the system by way of a spear-phishing attack targeting Google executives. Remember it only takes one successful attempt to have the walls crash down.
A Wireless carrier will be compromised
An attack on a major telecommunications company may happen, disabling smartphone communications in the United States. This attack will affect both iPhones and Android smartphones and will steal the personal information of millions of customers.
Similar to an attack on critical infrastructures like power grids and water systems, an attack on a wireless carrier can cripple the entire country.
A Large area of the internet will be disabled
It is more than likely that another state-sponsored hacking group or a politically motivated “hacktivist” organization will launch massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on a large part of the internet and hold it for ransom. DDoS attacks occur when servers are overwhelmed with more traffic than they can handle. These types of attacks are performed with something called a botnet.
If you can recall, back in 2016, a massive DDoS cyberattack was launched against the internet infrastructure company Dyn and it crippled major websites like Twitter, Spotify, Amazon, Netflix, CNN and PayPal as they could not be accessed by millions of users.
Biometric systems will be cracked
With the rise of biometric security systems like Face ID and fingerprint scanners, hackers will shift their resources to expose flaws and vulnerabilities in these systems.
Once biometric exploits are found, health care, government and financial companies which use fingerprints and facial recognition for security will be at risk of a massive data breach.
A leading cloud service will be breached
Top cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) have avoided large-scale hacking so far. Most of the cloud service data breaches that were reported were all from human error.
However, according to Experian, it will be only a matter of time before one of the leading cloud service providers will suffer a massive data breach due to direct hacking. A breach of this scale will be disastrous. It will affect large corporations and internet services, and billions of pieces of customer data will be compromised.
A widespread breach will be launched via connected printers
Recently, a hacker managed to take over 50,000 printers remotely and forced them to print posters in support of embattled YouTube star PewDieDie.
This incident demonstrates how easy it is for a determined hacker to compromise internet-connected printers and copiers. The PewDieDie printer hacks may be harmless, but it is just a matter of time before these printer exploits will be used maliciously.
A connected car will be hacked and used maliciously
All self-driving cars will have to be interconnected and synchronized for a large-scale deployment to take place.
But as shown by how a Jeep Cherokee can be remotely hacked, the security of these car systems will be extremely vital. Inevitably, a hacker will find a way to launch a cyberattack on a connected car and take complete control.
Prepare for the worst — protect yourself in 2019.
Eddie Bates aka EncryptionMan is an affiliate for Switzerland based PrivacyAbroad, GmbH. He specialized in cyber security and offers secure email, digital data storage and private internet browsing solutions. He is a frequent guest for several morning radio shows and has been in the internet privacy field since 2012. He also builds websites like this one!
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