New Report on Emerging Cyber Threats in 2013

Cyber Security

A new report has been released by the Georgia Institute of Technology titled “Emerging Cyber Threats Report 2013.” The report was released following the annual Georgia Tech Cyber Security Summit (GTCSS) that was held November 14, 2012. The GTCSS provides a forum which allows stakeholders to collaborate in the pursuit of confronting the challenges we face in securing cyberspace from adversaries.

The report sites how much has changed in cybersecurity over the past year, and how adversaries aligned with national agendas are targeting both the private and public sectors. The report and GTCSS highlight discussions on “emerging threats, their potential impact, and countermeasures for containing them.”

“According to GTISC, GTRI [Georgia Tech Research Institute] and the experts cited in the report, specific threats to follow over the coming year include, among others:”

  • Cloud-based Botnets — The ability to create vast, virtual computing resources will further convince cyber criminals to look for ways to co-opt cloud-based infrastructure for their own ends. One possible example is for attackers to use stolen credit card information to purchase cloud computing resources and create dangerous clusters of temporary virtual attack systems.
  • Search History Poisoning — Cyber criminals will continue to manipulate search engine algorithms and other automated mechanisms that control what information is presented to Internet users. Moving beyond typical search-engine poisoning, researchers believe that manipulating users’ search histories may be a next step in ways that attackers use legitimate resources for illegitimate gains.
  • Mobile Browser and Mobile Wallet Vulnerabilities — While only a very small number of U.S. mobile devices show signs of infection, the explosive proliferation of smartphones will continue to tempt attackers in exploiting user and technology-based vulnerabilities, particularly with the browser function and digital wallet apps.
  • Malware Counteroffensive — The developers of malicious software will employ various methods to hinder malware detection, such as hardening their software with techniques similar to those employed in Digital Rights Management (DRM), and exploiting the wealth of new interfaces and novel features on mobile devices.

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