Coding and programming is a great hobby for a lot of people, but it could soon become a lot more dangerous, experts say.
A growing body of research suggests that hackers are becoming more sophisticated at exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems, according to a report published Monday by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.
The research found that hackers have gained access to computers through an array of methods, including phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks and spear-phishing.
A recent study found that a majority of phishing emails sent to a target were from hackers who had gained access through spear-and-click attacks, which target websites that allow anyone to impersonate a site owner or employee.
“We are now at a critical point in the evolution of malware,” said Andrew Kimball, chief technology officer of the security firm Rapid7.
“Malware that uses phishing and other methods are more likely to be used by criminals, while malware that uses legitimate legitimate email to compromise the user’s account will likely be less likely to get through.”
A lot of research shows that phishing is now becoming more common, he said.
Phishing emails are not only being used to trick people into giving up personal information, they are also being used by hackers to gain access to compromised systems.
Kimball said a lot is being learned about how to protect against this threat, but that he thinks there are still a lot to learn.
He said the key is to develop defenses to mitigate the threat, such as using a VPN or another method that blocks spoofing emails from getting through.
“A lot is known about how these phishing attacks work, but what is still unknown is how they can be prevented from happening in the first place,” Kimball said.
Kimball also said it is important to keep in mind that hackers don’t necessarily need to be able to compromise your computer, just to do a bad thing, such to leaking sensitive data.
“There are plenty of examples of people that have done things like that in the past and have been caught,” he said, adding that hackers typically don’t have a lot in common with those who have done it before.
Kimballs report was published in the journal Security & Compartmentalization.