KASPERSKY HAS USED ITS annual gaze into the crystal ball of cybercrime to predict attacks on digital wallet and virtual payment schemes, citing Apple Pay as a potential target.
The malware-mashing security company has suggested that ATMs and payment systems will be likely targets for hackers in the coming 12 months, naming the recently launched Cupertino Bucks service as a probable victim.
Apple Pay launched in the US in October and has had its fair share of headlines, not least after Tim Cook announced that the addition of NFC was one of the "biggest advances in iPhone history", coming a mere eight years after the Nokia 6131 became the first NFC-equipped handset.
A launch of the service in Europe is earmarked for 2015, and it is likely to see a whole new audience of hackers as the profitability and turnover of the service grows.
The Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2014. Predictions 2015 report explains: "Previous attacks have focused on NFC payment systems but, thanks to limited adoption, these have reaped limited rewards. Apple Pay is bound to change that.
"The enthusiasm over this new payment platform is going to drive adoption through the roof and that will inevitably attract many cyber criminals looking to reap the rewards of these transactions."
Despite praising the security of Apple Pay, Kaspersky warns that it is not a time for complacency.
"Apple's design possesses an increased focus on security (like virtualised transaction data) but we'll be very curious to see how hackers will exploit the features of this implementation," the report said.
Other trends in the what's hot and what's not of digital debauchery include more 'bleeds' on the internet in the wake of Heartbleed, the distribution of malware for OS X on torrent sites, more targeted cyber attacks on banks and more ATM hijacks.
Kaspersky also believes that the more "in your face" gangs are being replaced by smaller groups launching attacks separately, leaving people with niggly little attacks rather than an overarching threat from a gang of super-villains.
The report also suggests that we can expect to see "displays of weakness" in the Internet of Things, and the first signs of adware or spyware in smart TV programming. µ
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