The predictions made by security company McAfee for 2012 are interesting from all the perspectives that concern companies, governments and individuals.
The company’s researchers conclude, based on the events that took place in the year that’s just about to pass, that hacktivist movements will either evolve or they’ll completely die out. They expect that in the year to come, online hacktivists will work more closely with physical demonstrators to state their discontent against governments and companies.

When it comes to spam, things are far more serious than anyone would expect. Advertisers already started using the spamming techniques previously seen only in malicious operations launched by cybercriminals.

While spam rates on a global scale decreased, marketing companies began purchasing customer databases from organizations that went under, using them on the principle that the individuals whose email addresses appear in those lists already consented to receiving advertisements. The phenomenon is bound to continuously grow.

Digitally signed certificates are another serious issue since more and more certificate authorities become targeted by hackers. This means that the up-until-now trusted certificates will be replaced by untrustworthy and undetectable rogue certificates.

The figures from 2011 show that mobile malware increased significantly and in 2012 the rise will probably continue. Cybercriminals that rely on mobile malware improved their skills and found ways to make large amounts of money from unsuspecting smartphone users.

Medical devices, GPS devices, automotive systems, routers, digital cameras and printers will be targeted in 2012 more than ever, especially after in the past year a large number of proof-of-concepts codes that exploit embedded systems were published.

Industrial facilities and digital currencies are also expected to become an even more precious target for hacker operations.

“Many of the threats that will become prominent in 2012 have already been looming under the radar in 2011,” said Vincent Weafer, senior VP of McAfee Labs.

“Over the past year, the general public has become more aware of some of these risks, such as threats to critical infrastructure or the impact of hacktivism as they gain international media attention. In the meantime, we continue to see cybercriminals improving their toolkits and malware and are ready to make a significant impact in 2012.”

Source : Exploit-ID