McAfee's 2012 Threat Predictions: Rise of the 'Hacktivist'

Beware of mobile hacking in the New Year.

By Scott Budman
|  Wednesday, Dec 28, 2011  |  Updated 10:44 AM PDT
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McAfee's Predicts Hacktivist Rise

Beware, 2012 edition.

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Watch your pocket.

We've written a lot lately about how many of us now use our phones and tablets as our main computers -- lots of banking, shopping, and private data storage.  Today, computer security giant McAfee came out with a list of threat predictions for the new year, and it's not pretty.

As expected, hackers are targeting your mobile devices more than ever.  We may use them like computers, but on the whole, we don't protect them like our computers.  McAfee says that will lead to more spam, more Trojan Horses (ways to get into your machine and take it over), and lots of viruses targeted at phones and tablets.

Specifically, McAfee points to what it calls the "Hacktivist" community.  "Anonymous" and others, who will hack your phone for reasons both cruel and altruistic.  Either way, it's going to be a pain the virtual neck for you, so brush up on your security.  McAfee (which admittedly has a stake in this) suggests you update your virus fighting softeware, but also use common sense:  Don't click on links if you're not sure they're legit, and don't answer e-mails from organizations (banks, PayPal) that don't normally communicate with you via e-mail.

In other words, treat your newest unwrapped computer like a computer.

Scott can be found on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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