McAfee warns of dangers to utility systems in 2012

McAfee believes 2012 will see a rise in targeted attacks and that hackers will start focusing efforts on compromising critical national infrastructure

Targeted attacks towards mobile devices and centres of industry are high on the list of priorities for hackers, according to McAfee's 2012 Threat Predictions report, published on Tuesday.

In 2011, most of the hacking breaches were targeted towards financial centres and governmental offices as well as global corporations. While some of these attacks have trickled down to affect customers of these agencies, many of whom can be considered innocent bystanders, things are about to get a whole lot more serious for ordinary citizens next year, according to McAfee.

Specifically, many utility systems (water, electricity, oil and gas, for example) don’t have stringent security practices. McAfee predicts that cyber criminals will take advantage of this gap in 2012, possibly with blackmail or extortion included.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see McAfee predicts more high-profile, targeted attacks in 2012 on ZDNet.

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