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BBB Warns: Top Five Cyber Threats for 2013

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The BBB has a warning about the top five cyber threats in 2013.

The year ahead will feature new and increasingly sophisticated means to capture and exploit your personal information to steal your identity.

Computer hackers are already at work to find weaknesses in new and emerging technologies.

"People get very excited with new apps that expand their use of the Internet in ways that were previously not possible," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. "However, the BBB urges you to proceed with caution when using new tech tools because they do not have a history of reliability and security."
 
The Better Business Bureau has the top five cyber threats expected in 2013:

  1. Malicious Mobile Apps: The Internet Crime Complaint Center recently issued an alert on malware in Android applications. As the market for mobile applications expands, it increases your chances of downloading an app that contains a virus.
  2. Counterfeit QR Codes: A Quick Response Code is a barcode that you can scan with your smartphone and it directs you to websites or downloadable content. Similar to skimmers that fit over credit card machines to swipe your credit card, counterfeit QR Codes can be affixed over legitimate barcodes to download malware to your phone or lead you to unsecure websites.
  3. Mobile Wallet Vulnerabilities: Near field communication (NFC) allows two devices to exchange data when they are in the proximity of each other. Smartphone manufacturers, retailers and airlines are beginning to use this information. The vulnerability of near field communication technology is that scammers may use scanners to capture stored credit card information when you are within range of their scanners without you even knowing it happened.
  4. Cloud-Based Botnets: Cloud computing is a growing area of computer technology. The ‘cloud' offers you the ability to select the precise computing power you need. When you use cloud-computing technology, you are linked to other cloud users and this creates a massive virtual networks. Hackers exploit this linked network via phishing schemes which infect users' computers with viruses. The potential exists for hackers to infect this massive network with viruses that would steal credit card and personal information from the computers that are linked through the ‘cloud'.
  5. Search History Poisoning: According to the Emerging Cyber Threats Report 2013 from Georgia Tech, compromised search histories can follow users from computer to computer which could increase the likelihood that you could visit malicious websites without knowing it.

For more information on cyber scams, please visit BBB or Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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