McAfee Labs’ 2017 Threats Predictions report paints a grim future. Through their analysis, the next logical step for malicious actors is to start taking over IoT products using malware. As IoT gains traction, products are no longer one-trick ponies with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Instead, the future promises of smart driverless cars with machine learning abilities, and household appliances that store user preferences or payment information are beoming a reality.
WannaCry was an excellent example of the damage that could be done with IoT malware – entire facilities such as hospitals, banks, and businesses were halted, costing precious man-hours and putting lives at stake.
For IoT malware to take off , McAfee hazards that it’s up to cybercriminals to actually decide what they can accomplish with these gadgets and it won’t take more than four years for them to figure it out.
As the general population evolves into tech-savvy, multidevice users, it has become our prerogative to protect ourselves from evolving ransomware, be it on your PC, smartphone, or IoT device.
Staying one step ahead of malware.
• Keep your operating system up-to-date. In the case of WannaCry ransomware, the latest Windows 10 operating system was not vulnerable, since the flaw it exploited wasn’t present in the new operating system.
• Bookmark all your trusted sites. Malicious sites can look almost identical to the real thing, with similar URLs. This method of tricking users is also called phishing. Trend Micro’s ransomware white paper found that 20% of all ransomware infections in 2016 came from accessing ransomware-laden web pages.
• Never entertain spam messages. Spam is also more sophisticated these days, employing social engineering techniques to emotionally lure victims into clicking. The same white paper by Trend Micro found that 79% of all ransomware came via spam.