Watch out for your phone: Cyber criminals won't just be targeting your computer in 2017


Attacks on phones could become more common next year (Source: Getty)

Long gone are the days when people just had to be wary of their emails for suspicious attachments, as a report out today forecasts cyber criminals will be targeting smart devices and other futuristic tech much more in 2017.

Among the predictions for next year from an Intel Security McAfee Labs report were an increase in attempts of dronejackings, more intrusive mobile phone hackings and malware aimed at exploiting the Internet of Things, while ransomware attacks would begin to taper off towards the end of the year.

Raj Samani, technology chief for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Intel Security, told City A.M. criminals would be moving away from the traditional "low-hanging fruit" towards the latter part of 2017, as law enforcement found better ways to crack down on these types of activities.

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Potential hackers could also gain a lot more from Twitter and Instagram next year, as the report forecasts a rise in sophisticated social engineering, where criminals glean information about a person from their social media accounts and other Internet profiles to better tailor their approach.

Samani said that social engineering was "not only being used, it's really successful". 

"To an extent, it's easy to do research...You've got people putting things on social media that they're on holiday," Samani added. "Well, if I know you're on holiday, I know your house is empty...2017 will probably see more of the adoption of the tools and the technology and the data that we make available."

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However, the report was not all doom and gloom; 2017 is also more likely to see different industries working closer together to tackle cybercrime.

Samani commented that, while efforts to share information in the past could have been criticised as paying "lip service" to the idea, many successful collaborations between law enforcement and industry had started to take shape over the last few years.