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State-led cyberterror set to rise: report

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- State-led cyberterrorism is expected to rise in 2011, a white paper issued by Imperva data security company said Monday.

Imperva said its predictions for the Top 10 security trends for 2011, compiled by the company's Application Defense Center, were aimed at helping information technology security professionals defend their organizations against the next onslaught of cybersecurity threats.

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The white paper study, led by Imperva's Chief Technology Officer Amichai Shulman, said state-sponsored hacking will build on concepts and techniques from the commercial hacker industry to create more powerful "advanced persistent threats." APT preoccupied governments and corporate organizations worldwide in 2010 and required extra expenditure on improving online Internet-based security.

"In this upcoming year, we expect to see growing awareness of security incidents due to insiders," said the paper. "Attention will grow as a consequence of an increased flow of incident reports where data theft and security breaches are tied to employees and other insiders. The cause of this trend will be the emphasis put on new regulations covering the act of notification and disclosure (rather on the actual protection of data)."

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"Man-in-the-browser" attacks will increase and there will be a noticeable growth in the role played by MitB attacks in cyber-criminal activity, said the report. MitB is a form of Internet threat related to "Man-in-the-Middle," a Trojan that infects a Web browser and has the ability to modify pages, modify transaction content or insert additional transactions, all in a covert fashion that is invisible to both the user and host application.

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On the positive side, Imperva said, social networks' security will improve with prominent social networks, and tools, placing more efforts into security over privacy.

In addition to greater number of data breaches, where compromised data are in the form of files rather than database records, Imperva predicted that proliferation of sophisticated mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, etc. would substantially affect application and data security.

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At the same time, it said, concerns over the security of cloud computing would likely lead to new products to make cloud computing secure.

Cloud computing is Web-based processing by which computer users have access to shared resources, software and information over the Internet.

Imperva says the hacking industry will consolidate as amateurs shut down and larger organized groups take their place.

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The company said it is also hopeful of convergence of data security and privacy regulation worldwide, as more and more governments pool their resources.

Shulman said: "The threat landscape will evolve in many directions, making data security more challenging than ever. The biggest potential impact will be caused by the proliferation of sophisticated mobile devices interacting with corporate networks."

He warned that "one of the key attacks" could lead to "a significant rise" in the so-called man-in-the-browser attacks as criminals target the weakest link -- end users."

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Insider threats will become more prominent as regulations force organizations to become more transparent, he said.

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