It seems like every week a new Internet security threat emerges. As the use of mobile devices continues to rise and more people access the Internet than ever before, staying alert to new Internet security threats is more important than ever. At the same time, there are some Internet security threats which have been around for more than a decade and won’t be leaving anytime soon. Most people have heard about these risks so often they no longer pay attention to warnings.
Java exploits continue to plague the internet security industry. Java is currently installed on more than 1 billion machines across the globe. Unfortunately, it has a long history of being unsecure. Every time a new update is released, new vulnerabilities are discovered. Anyone with Java enabled on their device needs to make sure it is always updated and only activated when it is being used. The Internet security threats tied to Java exploits include malware, spyware, and a barrage of viruses.
Malware Targeting New Devices and Operating Systems
One Internet security threat that will never go away is malware. Malware is now being specifically designed to target new devices and operating systems. Nowhere is this more evident than the skyrocketing amount of malware targeting mobile devices. Recently discovered malware is more complex and evolved than ever.
Fear-Based Upfront Payments
A subset of Internet security threats are known as fear-based threats. Previously, the most well-known example of this type of attack was the “PC Security Check”. Users were presented with a pop-up saying their computer was infected and prompted to download software which could remove the threat. Users paid $40 or more for a “special” software which would remove the threat. Unfortunately, the special software was the threat. Today’s fear-based threats have shifted from scareware to ransomware.
Exploit kits are found in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all do the same thing. They are designed to identify Internet security vulnerabilities on a user’s device. Today’s exploit kits simultaneously scan for vulnerabilities in operating systems and popular software. Exploit kits are a primary reason user should always apply software updates when they are released.
Phishing is essentially an online con. Today’s phishing scams are more convincing than ever and often delivered via social media status updates from compromised accounts and spam. Since cyber criminals can send these messages to millions of people in an extremely short amount of time, they only need a miniscule success rate in order to be profitable.
Piggybacking Legitimate Webpages
Piggybacking legitimate websites has long been an Internet security concern. As more websites rely on third-party advertisers to generate a profit, cyber criminals have developed increasingly sophisticated ways to leverage third-party advertisers to display malicious ads. While the method of deployment is continually changing, cyber criminals are always looking for new ways to piggyback legitimate websites.
While the specific coding behind Internet security threats continues to evolve become more sophisticated, the basic premise of many threats is the same as it has been for more than a decade. Until the average person starts taking Internet security more seriously and proactively protects their devices with a VPN there is little doubt the ease types of Internet security threats will always be around.