User awareness

Because of strict reporting laws in California, more and more companies
and institutions were reporting losses of personal accounts. Among the compa –
nies and institutions were PayMaxx, health care heavyweight San Jose Medical
Group, California State University at Chico, Boston College, and the Univer –
sity of California at Berkeley.2 These made headlines, but many more did not.
A decade later since the beginning of the thrird generation, around 2010,
probably the fourth generation started. This was driven by a dramatic change
in communication technologies and the nature of the information infras –
tructure. First, there is a fast rate of convergence of computing and telecommunication coming a lot earlier than has been predicted. Second, there is a
developing trend in computing and communication devices’ miniaturization,
leading us faster to the long- awaited and often talked- about ubiquitous computing driven by faster, more powerful machines and with a rich application
repertoire that makes the technology of a decade earlier look prehistoric. The
result of these combined forces are the exceptionally fast growing infrastructure of social networks that are leading us into a new unplanned, unpredictable,
and more threatening computing environment. This changing nature of information technology against the changing background of user demographics is
creating a dynamic mosaic of security threats and problems. Plenty of IT
administrators are tossing and turning at night over the security risks that may
threaten their servers, networks and client computers. According to the 2010
survey of 353 network administrators conducted by Amplitude Research on
behalf of VanDyk Software (2010) and the Australian Cyber Crime and Security Survey Report 2012,3 historically and traditionally leading threats are no
longer in the lead as indicated in Tables 1.1 and 1.2. Most traditional cybercrimes witnessed in the previous two generations are in decline. This can be
attributed to the continuously changing landscape of cybercrimes.
Currently there are two major trends in this generation of cyber attacks.
First, the cyber criminals are organizing themselves more into criminal enterprise cartels, and two, we are seeing more state- sponsored hacking activities
than ever before. This seems to be a more troubling trend. New threats, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s ICS- CERT, include4
• National governments—where we see government- sponsored programs developing capabilities with the future prospect of causing widespread, long- duration damage to critical national infrastructures of
adversarial nations.