Botnet cyber-armies, domain failure and Chinese cyber-crime rise predicted

IID predicts major cyber problems for 2017.
IID predicts major cyber problems for 2017.

Cyber security firm IID is forecasting that the connected devices which comprise the Internet of Things (IoT) universe are likely to be banded together in a botnet army and used to launch massive attacks by 2017.

IID forecasts that a botnet zombie horde will be recruited through malware installed on IoT devices and will be used for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) against large corporations, pay-per-click fraud, along with various extortion schemes. The reason IID believes this will happen is IoT devices, while containing strong computing capabilities, will not have the necessary security on board.

"The increasingly advanced technical capabilities of IoT devices such as autonomous consumer-grade drones and smart appliances will not be able to keep pace with security and privacy requirements. This will drive large-scale compromises of IoT devices," Sean Tierney, IID vice president of threat intelligence, wrote in the report.

The company's next prediction sees the current downturn in the Chinese economy leading to a major increase in organised criminal activity in that country to the point where it could surpass what is now taking place in Eastern Europe. IID peered even further down the road and predicted that what it called the current Russian-Chinese Cyber Alliance will fall apart by 2019 after the new Chinese gangs begin to attack companies and people in this region. This will eventually lead to cyber-gang warfare where the rival groups attack each other.

In addition to the potential increase in Chinese cyber-crime, IID is predicting the failure of many generic top-level domains (gTLD) in 2017. The company said that since ICANN began issuing gTLDs in 2013 adoption has lagged and many of those that remain are filled with fraudulent and junk registrations so they are blocked by security software.

“Should a gTLD go down, it would take any resident websites, email or other services with it, forcing their owners to scramble for new virtual real estate,” the report said.