The US power grid will be hacked and ISIS will breach a major corporation this year, according to a noted cybersecurity expert who claims a 95 percent accuracy level.
Each year, Pkware CEO and President V. Miller Newton makes predictions for what he sees as the most likely breaches in cybersecurity, and this year’s list included five predictions.
Already, one of his predictions has come true – a US presidential campaign being hacked.
“Political campaigns have mountains of unsecured data that is ripe for hacking,” his prediction from earlier this year read. “As a result, we believe a U.S. Presidential Campaign will experience a major cyber-attack before the general election in November.”
That happened in June when Russian hackers broke into the network of the Democratic National Convention and stole the opposition research on Donald Trump. Now, the rest of the cyber community is looking more closely at Newton’s other predictions:
- “ISIS Will Breach a Major Corporation: We believe that ISIS will dramatically increase their cyber capabilities to target corporate America and other vulnerable Western entities and organizations.
- “The U.S. Electric Grid will be attacked: Attacks on the electric grid would have devastating consequences, harming businesses and consumers alike.
- “U.S. Law Enforcement will be breached: From body cameras to police databases, cyberattacks against law enforcement could become widespread in 2016.
- “Healthcare Devices will be compromised: With the rise of connected devices in the healthcare industry, it is inevitable that we will see a rise in cyber-attacks against the medical community.”
Forbes.com’s Ian Morris interviewed Newton and said he came away impressed.
“Newton doesn’t even come across as especially paranoid when you meet him, but his predictions and warnings left me thinking quite differently about security,” Morris wrote. “His children, he told me, don’t use cloud backups on their phones – at least not without additional security measures.”
Newton is a big fan of encryption, which was at the heart of a spat between the FBI and Apple earlier this year, when Apple refused to open a phone for the government out of privacy concerns.
“Newton does advocate, very strongly … that everyone use encryption. From the man and woman on the street, to multi-national companies,” Morris wrote. “With everyone using their own, secure, encryption he says it would make the job of terrorists much harder. For that reason any claim by governments that people be banned from strong encryption was dismissed.”
Newton, in January, said the future was bleak for those wanting to stop all forms of cyberattack.
“With over 30,000 businesses and 200 government entities as our customers, we have a unique view into future staging grounds for attacks,” Newton said. “Based on what we’re seeing right now, 2016 will see significant and dynamic cyberattacks on American interests. The new generation of attacks aspire to cause widespread disruption and fear, across entire industries, populations and geographies, by exploiting significant gaps in data protection.”
Governments, Newton told Morris, “don’t have strong pockets of brilliant system programmers.” Those programmers, he said, prefer to work for private companies.
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