Threats to watch for in 2013

More sophisticated phishing Email and text messages that contain links to malicious websites will improve in quality to the point that they'll be virtually indistinguishable from legitimate communications. The messages will become more polished and professionalóno more broken English and poor grammar.

Watering-hole attacks A drive-by download is a twist on the concept of browser-based attacks. In this sort of attack, cybercriminals post malicious content on a Web page, and then try to figure out some way to lure you to visit the website. If the PC you use to visit the website is vulnerable to the exploit used by the attack, malware is downloaded and the system is compromised. In 2013, though, attackers will continue to hone in with more precise attacks known as "watering hole" attacks. Rather than casting a wide net (as attackers do with drive-by downloads), the watering hole attack is more precise.

Data breaches In 2013, attackers will continue to target weak security on Internet-facing database systems to acquire thousands or millions of compromised records at once rather than going after individual users. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to prevent this sort of attack, but you can go on the defensive by being vigilant. Monitor your bank and credit card statements and report anything suspicious to your financial institution.

CREDITS: PC Magazine (by Tony Bradley)