2016 is already being dubbed “The Year of Ransomware” and ransomware features prominently in my upcoming “Mid-Year Threat Review” webinar. In that webinar I will also be talking about the IoT (Internet of Things) and more specifically the IoIT (the Internet of Insecure Things); mainly because risks arising from the latter are on the rise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the IoIT currently poses as big a threat as ransomware does. But part of my job is to look beyond the present – and I’m concerned that a future headline will read: “The Year of Jackware.”
I define jackware as malicious software that seeks to take control of a device, the primary purpose of which is not data processing or digital communications. A car would be such a device. A lot of cars today do perform a lot of data processing and communicating, but their primary purpose is to get you from A to B. So think of jackware as a specialized form of ransomware. With regular ransomware, such as Locky and CryptoLocker, the malicious code encrypts documents on your computer and demands a ransom to unlock them. The goal of jackware is to lock up a car or other device until you pay up.