Hacking 2015 and Beyond

2015 brings us no closer to putting the lid on hackers as any other year has. The crime of Criminal hacking will prove to be as big as ever in the new year. Here’s what we have to look forward too:

4DBank Card Breaches

There will always be the bank card thieves, being that stealing data from magnetic stripe cards is relatively easy to pull off and there are different ways to do so. This includes tampering with card swiping devices, then retrieving the stolen data later on when nobody’s around.

The U.S. is moving towards replacing the magnetic stripe with chip ‘n PIN technology, but this will take time and money. Another issue is poor implementation of this technology, which makes a hacker’s job easier. It will be a while before efficiently implemented Chip and PIN technology rules the U.S.; expect lots of more bank card breaches.

Nation-State Attacks

Governments hacking governments was big in 2014 and it’s expected to continue rising. Criminals engaging in this type of threat involve interference with encryption and gaining entry to systems via “back doors,” kind of like how a robber gets into one’s home by removing a screen in the back of the house. One of the tools to accomplish this cyber assault is called a RAT which is a form of malware, and it’s predicted that this tool will be used even more (among others) to invade government and private company networks.

Data Destruction

It’s incomprehensible to the average Joe or Jane how someone (usually a team, actually) could wipe out data on the other side of the world, but it’s happened, such as with computers in South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

And this was on a large scale: banks, media companies and oil companies. Even if all the data is backed up, there’s still the monumental issue of rebuilding systems. And it’s no picnic trying to make sure that the saved data doesn’t carry malware residue that can reinfect a rebuilt system.


Special malware (ransomware) can block a user from accessing data or a corporation from accessing its system, until money is paid to the hacker. This happened to the Sony company (data was stolen but also deleted), but the motives aren’t crystal clear. A cyber extortion requires a skilled attack, and don’t be surprised if this happens to more big companies.

Critical Infrastructure

This type of hack hasn’t really occurred big-scale in the U.S. yet, but experts believe it’s only a matter of time before it does. Cyber criminals will carry out a critical infrastructure attack, infecting networks and gaining control of them, all designed to shut down electricity, disrupt communications and poison water among other disrupting activities.

Third-Party Breaches

A third-party breach means hacking into entity “A” to get to “B.” An example is Target: Hackers got into the HVAC company that Target was contracted with to access Target’s network. Bigger third-party breaches have occurred, and experts have no reason to believe they’ve stopped, even though tighter security has been implemented (and busted through by hackers, not surprisingly).

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.