Georgia Tech Information Security Center Releases Emerging Cyber Threats Forecast for 2009

October 14, 2008

Sophistication of Threats Continues to Rise as Cyber Criminals Seek Increased Levels of Data, Profitability

ATLANTA (October 15, 2008) – The Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC), a national leader in information security research and education, today announced the release of the GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2009, outlining the top five areas of security concern and risk for consumer and enterprise Internet users for the coming year. The report was released at the annual GTISC Security Summit on Emerging Cyber Security Threats – a gathering of leading industry and academic leaders from organizations with a stake in protecting the online user community.

For 2009, GTISC is forecasting five key cyber security areas where threats are expected to increase and evolve:

  • Malware— specifically under the guise of benign social networking links
  • Botnets – specifically the spread of botnet attacks to wireless and peer-to-peer networks
  • Cyber warfare — including targets on the U.S. economy and infrastructure
  • Threats to VoIP and Mobile Convergence—specifically voice fraud and cellular botnets
  • The Evolving Cyber Crime Economy – including the rise of sophisticated malware-for-sale kits and programs

According to the report, data will continue to be the primary motive behind future cyber crime – whether targeting traditional fixed computing environments or mobile applications. Experts from across the IT security spectrum – from government to industry to academia – join GTISC's call for closer coordination between the security industry, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), application developers and government regulators to safeguard the user community and hinder the spread of sophisticated cyber security threats.

"At GTISC, we strongly believe that a proactive approach to understanding emerging threats will help us develop more effective information security technologies and strategies," said Mustaque Ahamad, director of GTISC. "The annual GTISC Security Summit on Emerging Cyber Security Threats and this report seek to give us a better understanding of the increasingly sophisticated cyber security challenges we will face in the years ahead. We wish to thank the esteemed members of the IT security community who assisted us with the creation of this report."

More than 300 corporate executives, industry leaders and technologists from across the country attended the GTISC Security Summit on Emerging Cyber Security Threats, keynoted by Lt. General Robert J. Elder, Jr., Commander Eighth Air Force of the Barksdale Air Force Base. Following Lt. Elder's address on "Global Operations and Mission Assurance in a Contested Cyber Environment" in the morning, Summit panelists engaged in a lively discussion moderated by IT Security Entrepreneur, Thomas E. Noonan. This year's panelists, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, IBM Internet Security Systems, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Cisco, Motorola and SecureWorks, helped to educate the audience on the proliferation of cyber threats, including those listed in the report, and highlighted possible countermeasures to safeguard the user and business communities.

To view the entire GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats for 2009 report or to watch a pre-recorded Web cast of the Summit, please visit http://www.gtiscsecuritysummit.com.

About Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC)
The Georgia Tech Information Security Center, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, is an interdisciplinary center involving faculty from the College of Computing, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Public Policy.

For more information, contact:
Stefany Wilson
Georgia Tech College of Computing
404.894.7253
stefany [at] cc [dot] gatech [dot] edu