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Cyber Espionage and Social Networks
Kaspersky also predicted state-sponsored cyber warfare will continue in 2013. During 2012, Kaspersky Lab discovered three new major malicious programs that were used in cyber warfare operations: Flame, Gauss and miniFlame. While Flame was the largest and most sophisticated of the cyber-espionage programs, the firm said, its longevity was its most prominent characteristic.
"Being at least a 5-year-old project, Flame was an example of a complex malicious program that could exist undetected for an extended amount of time while collecting massive amounts of data and sensitive information from its victims," the report said. Kaspersky Lab's experts expect more countries to develop their own cyber programs for the purposes of cyber-espionage and cyber-sabotage. These attacks will affect not only government institutions, but also businesses and critical infrastructure facilities.
Of course, social networks remain a target. Kaspersky said new threats that affect both consumers and businesses have drastically changed the perception of online privacy and trust.
"As consumers understand that a significant portion of their personal data is being handed over to online services, the question is whether or not they trust them," the report said. "Such confidence has already been shaken following the wake of major password leaks from some of the most popular Web services such as Dropbox and LinkedIn. The value of personal data -- for both cybercriminals and legitimate businesses -- is destined to grow significantly in the near future."