Computer Crime Research Center


Deloitte: Tech future includes cybercrime, nanotechnology

Date: January 21, 2005
By: Brendan Sullivan

JANUARY 20, 2005 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu predicted yesterday that digital crime and online security threats will skyrocket in 2005 as a result of the rapid growth in portable Internet and mobile technology and that the technology industry will see a boom in the development of nanotechnology and fuel-cell batteries.

These are among 10 predictions the tax auditing and financial consulting firm issued in its "TMT Trends: Technological Predictions 2005," the company's first publication of technological predictions. Other predictions include increased dependency on Web browsers, a rise in the number of mesh networks, widespread use of robotics in at home, a boom in flat-screen TV and computer monitor sales, private-sector space exploration and strong development in quantum computing.

New York-based Deloitte defines mesh networks as "an ad-hoc network [in which] every node has a connection to every other node in the network, either directly or by hopping through intermediate nodes. This allows operators to generate a very precise picture of what is happening within the network."

The company places major emphasis on its belief that connected devices such as computers and mobile phones will increasingly become the targets of harmful attacks from viruses, worms and malware, while nuisances such as spam and "spim," the mobile phone version of spam, will also worsen, both quantitatively and in terms of damage capabilities.

"Some of the problems we've seen in the past with viruses will worsen with the use of more wireless devices, and it will surely drive the rate and complexity of Internet crime up," said Jonathan D. Dharmapalan, principal and leader of Deloitte's Northern Pacific Technology, Media &Telecommunications (TMT) division.

Although experts say the spread and complexity of computer viruses and attacks will proliferate in the coming year, the severity of attacks on mobile devices is debatable. The wide variety of cell phones and mobile devices on the market make it hard for a single virus to attack a broad user base, said Gregg Mastoras, a senior security analyst at Sophos PLC.
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