Why black holes were the biggest threat to your devices in 2012

Why black holes were the biggest threat to your devices in 2012
Not content with stealing the light, now black holes are stealing our security

Black holes were a dominant factor in 2012's cybercrime-wave, with Sophos' annual report showing how our move to mobile tech is bringing back some old enemies.

Of course, we're talking about the Blackhole exploit kit, which managed to propagate all kinds of nasties including ransomware and fake antivirus solutions along with the normal malware.

The chief problem for users was redirects – normally taking advantage of hacked legitimate sites to push people into cyber crime's back yard.


As we all go mobile with our data, and our hardware, old skool attacks are becoming more common once more; yep – we're in the era of the retro virus.

And if you happen to live in Hong Kong, Taiwan or the UAE then you are at the top of the risk tree, with Norway, Sweden, Japan and Britain statistically the safest places to surf.

"2012 was a year of new platforms and modern malware," explained Sophos.

"What was once a homogeneous world of Windows systems, is now a landscape made up of diverse platforms. Modern malware is taking advantage of these trends."

eWar! Huh! What's it good for?

The report also looked at the rise of state-sponsored cyber attacks, concluding that, although difficult to prove, the capability for countries to sanction eWar on enemies of their state is growing.

"By their very nature, state-sponsored cyber attacks (and attacks by highly-sophisticated private teams closely allied with states) are difficult to track and prove—and equally susceptible to being overhyped," said Sophos' report.

"Nevertheless, more actors appear to be developing the capability to execute such attacks. And, once they possess such a capability, the temptation to use it will be substantial."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.