MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI) - You can expect threats to your cyber security in 2015, but will these threats use some of the same tactics or new technical trickery? Scott Schaffer of Blade Technologies reveals his top five list of attacks of cyber security in 2015.
1) Malicious messages that really look like the real thing
Click the link or download the attachment, and you've unwittingly infected your computer.
2) Ransomware moves into the cloud and onto your phone
Ransomware is a nasty type of malicious software that infects a victim's computer, locks up documents and demands payment in exchange for regaining access.
3) Point-of-sale attacks
The Target breach discovered one year ago affected more than 40 million consumer accounts. Industry professionals are hoping American card issuers' October 2015 switch to chip-and-pin (also known as EMV) cards -- which add a microchip to the credit card for an additional layer of security -- will help stop these sorts of breaches.
But "stopping fraud, especially for credit cards, is like squeezing Jell-O: You stop it in one place and it squirts out in another," said Stephen Coggeshall, chief analytics and science officer at identity theft firm LifeLock.
McAfee expects the "point of sale" type of attack that felled Target -- malware that infected its payment terminals -- will continue through 2015 as many terminals need to be upgraded to accept the new chip-and-pin cards. But the firm also warns these attacks will "increase and evolve" to target mobile payment systems like Apple Pay.
It's tough to inoculate yourself from these attacks -- unless you swear off credit and debit cards altogether. Be sure to monitor statements closely and flag any charges that look odd.
4) Targeting the 'one percent'
While cyber criminals may target a specific company or a government entity, they don't generally spend time targeting an individual because the potential financial payoff isn't worth their time. But wealthy consumers are the exception, said Coggeshall of LifeLock.
5) Espionageware and cyber war
The Sony hack -- and the FBI's conclusion that North Korea is responsible -- renewed security professionals' discussions of an ongoing cyberwar between countries and other opposing entities. Experts say we can expect more skirmishes to play out online rather than on the battlefield.