McAfee Labs has released its 2014 Predictions Report, analyzing 2013 to forecast the threat landscape for the coming year. In 2014, McAfee predicts:

1. Mobile malware will be the driver of growth in both technical innovation and the volume of attacks in the overall malware “market”.  In the last two quarters reported, new PC malware growth was nearly flat, while appearances of new Android samples grew by 33%.

2. Virtual currencies will fuel malicious ransomware attacks around the world. Currencies such as Bitcoin will enable and accelerate new generations of ransomware such as the Cryptolocker threat of 2013.

3. In the spy vs. spy world of cybercrime and cyber warfare, criminal gangs and state actors will deploy new stealth attacks that will be harder than ever to identify and stop. There will be broad adoption of advanced evasion techniques, such as the use of sandbox-aware attacks.

4. “Social attacks” will be ubiquitous by the end of the year. We expect to see more attacks that leverage social platform features to capture passwords or data about user contacts, location, or business activities.

5. New PC and server attacks will target vulnerabilities above and below the operating system. In 2014, new PC attacks will exploit application vulnerabilities in HTML5.

6. The evolving threat landscape will dictate adoption of big data security analytics to meet detection and performance requirements. In 2014, security vendors will continue to add new threat-reputation services and analytics tools that will enable them and their users to identify stealth and advanced persistent threats faster and more accurately.

7. Deployment of cloud-based corporate applications will create new attack surfaces that will be exploited by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals will look for more ways to exploit the ubiquitous hypervisors found in all data centres and management infrastructure etc.

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McAfee Labs is the world’s leading source for threat research, threat intelligence, and cybersecurity thought leadership. The McAfee Labs team of 500 threat researchers correlates real-world data collected from millions of sensors across key threat vectors — file, web, message, and network — and delivers threat intelligence in real-time to increase protection and reduce risk.