Science and technology have utterly transformed human life in the past few generations, and forecasts of the future used to be measured in decades. But big changes arrive faster and faster these days. So here we've shifted our forecast to the near-term, because we're right on the verge of some extraordinary stuff. These are the trends and events to watch out for in 2013. See them all here.
In 2009, the annual Pwn2Own cybersecurity competition provided hackers with a shot at cracking smartphones. They failed. In September, the event offered phones as targets again. This time, contestants seized control of them, successfully exploiting vulnerabilities in the two most popular operating systems, iOS and Android.
For the most part, smartphones have escaped the viruses and botnets that have plagued
desktop computers for decades. That luck may not hold out in 2013. The learning curves of cybersecurity professionals and cybercriminals track pretty closely. If the good guys have
hacked iOS and Android, the bad guys will quickly follow.
The first mobile malware attempted familiar invasions, stealing contact information and pictures from devices. But cybersecurity professionals expect a range of unconventional hacks as well. In the last couple of years, researchers have found ways to turn smartphones, with their cameras, GPS, and accelerometers, into portable spies.
Researchers from Indiana University and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, for example, created PlaceRaider, which enables a smartphone camera to surreptitiously take photos. The proof-of-concept program then stitches them into a 3-D representation of the user's location, enabling attackers to identify valuable information in the environment. In another demonstration, researchers from Georgia Tech used the accelerometer of a smartphone sitting next to a keyboard to track the vibrations of individual keystrokes. They identified typed text with up to 80 percent accuracy.
At the 2012 TEDGlobal conference, Malte Spitz, a member of Germany's Green party, showed he could use telecom data to re-create his whereabouts in detail for six months. Hackers have likewise already used malware to track a user's location. Combining that information with other sensor data, such as images from the camera, could give them an unprecedented look into their victims' lives.
I find it highly unlikely that iPhones will begin to become infected. Android phones I could see an increase in over the next few years due to the open source nature of it's OS, but iOS is too closed off and secure to begin infecting. Everything is sandboxed and file permissions are restricted. Infecting iOS just isn't practical by the time you'd figure out a way (if you even could) there would be a update to patch it. Even if the phone is jailbroken it's still difficult to infect. The exploits used in 2009 are incredibly old and have been patched which is why an iOS 6 untethered jailbreak is taking so long.
-The only way to discover the limits of the impossible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
If there is a buck to be made, found or stolen, it will be hack and given a virus soon or later.
That is an incredibly short-sighted opinion. Windows is very closed-sourced and look at the amount of malware written for it. Many security professionals consider Windows 7 much more secure than Mac OSX (for which there is malware as well).
I believe it was Linus Torvalds (correct me if I'm wrong) that said, in effect, that any operating system can be breached, it's just the popularity of the system that drives the hackers (that was very paraphrased).
I'll look for the actual comment.
@ Breaking Infinity
I really hope your comment was a failed attempt at trolling because if not the amount of ignorance you showed in that comment makes me feel bad for the people around you in your actual life.
They already have an untethered iOS 6 jailbreak, they are just waiting for iOS 6.1 to be released so they can fix the bugs. Having an untethered jailbreak means that it is completely possibly for someone to hack an iPhone. Hackers can easily use the code to add malware to the device. I think your statement is very biased.