Another year already? Worldwide the majority of us are keeping our fingers tightly crossed for this year to be kinder.
As we launch into the scope for further advances in technology, hackers continue to upskill and find ways to torment our digital lives. In times like these, it’s best to stay savvy on the common cybercrime methods, to keep you and your precious data safe.
From a survey of business leaders, Sixty-eight percent stated that they felt cybersecurity risks are getting worse. And fair enough! Attacks continue to get more sophisticated, often perpetrated by large criminal organizations. And for these criminal groups, a day of hacking servers, seizing data, and blackmailing users is just another day at work.
The average number of global cyberattacks increased by 15.1% in 2021.
To protect your business in the coming year, it’s important to keep a close eye on attack trends. What are those nasty hackers getting trying their hands on? How are they trying to do this? Why do they keep doing this shIT? Knowing these things is important. You can be your own IT Superhero, and learn how to better update your IT security to mitigate as much risk as possible!
We’ve used our Super skills to pull out the security crystal ball for 2023. We’ve also found out what cybersecurity experts are expecting. And drumroll please… here are the attack trends that you need to watch out for!
5G Devices are under attack.
The world has been raving on about 5G for a few years, it’s finally beginning to fulfil the promise of lightning-fast internet. As this amazing infrastructure continues to expand, you can expect this to be a prime target for cybercrime.
Hackers have their hungry little eyes out to find ways to take advantage of 5G hardware. Anytime you have a new technology like this, it’s bound to have some code vulnerabilities. This is exactly what hackers are looking to exploit.
So what can you do to protect yo’self? Be aware of the firmware security in the devices you buy, whether it be a PC, router, or a new mobile phone. This is crucial for those devices enabled for 5G. Some manufacturers will build better firmware security into their designs than others. So when you head to your local tech provider in the hunt for a new device, make sure to ask them all about the difference in firmware security across their products.
One-time Password (OTP) Bypass
If you’re using one password login alone to access your account and precious data, you might want to consider bulking up with Multi-factor authentication (MFA). Hackers are getting all too capable of breaking into accounts with single logins. MFA is a well-known hero in this problem, being very effective at preventing fraudulent sign-in attempts. It can stop account takeovers even in the case where a criminal has managed to get your user password!
There are a few different ways that hackers try to bypass MFA. These include:
- Reusing a token: Gaining access to a recent user OTP and trying to reuse it
- Sharing unused tokens: The hacker uses their own account to get an OTP. Then attempts to use that OTP on a different account.
- Leaked token: Using an OTP token leaked through a web application.
- Password reset function: A hacker uses phishing to fool the user into resetting a password. They then trick them into handing over their OTP via text or email.
Attacks Surrounding World Events
During the pandemic, when most of us were stuck inside and glued to our screens, the cyberattack volume increased by approximately 600%! Large criminal hacking groups have unlocked the potential to use world events and disasters to their advantage.
When a natural disaster or striking event shocks our globe, hackers jump into action. Attacks come for everything from the latest hurricane or typhoon to the war in Ukraine. Sadly, people who have been traumatised or distracted by the crisis are too preoccupied to notice these scams.
One way to stay a step ahead of the criminals is to be especially mindful of scams when a large-scale event occurs. Watch out for online behaviour that plays on emotions, as hackers will often use social engineering tactics, such as sad photos.
Smishing & Mobile Device Attacks
You’ve probably heard of phishing, well now there’s also smishing! Which is basically phishing via SMS messaging. Us humans are most commonly found holding a mobile phone about 3 inches from our face. And when we actually bother to talk to another real life person, our phone is still nearby, in a handbag or pocket. This close human-device connection is just another opportunity for cybercriminals.
Most of us don’t expect to receive fake messages to our personal numbers. But sadly cell numbers are no longer as private as they once were. Hackers can simply go online and buy lists of them. They then take the time to craft convincing fake texts that look like shipping notices or receipts. One wrong click is all it takes for an account or data breach.
Mobile malware is also on the rise. This is where hackers send software specifically designed to damage data or gain access to a system, on your cellphone. During the first few months of 2022, malware-targeted mobile devices rose by 500%! Seriously, did these people really have nothing better to do!? It’s important to ensure that you have good mobile anti-malware. As well as other protections on your devices, such as a DNS (Domain Name System) filter.
Elevated Phishing Using AI & Machine Learning
These days, it’s not so easy to spot a phishing email as you may think. Usually these emails would be obviously peculiar, with spelling mistakes or grainy photos. While some still look like this, unfortunately most don’t.
Criminal groups have further advanced today’s phishing using AI and machine learning. Not only will it look identical to a real brand’s emails, but it will also come personalised – with your name and details on it. These targeted tactics capture more victims. They also allow hackers to send out more targeted phishing messages than ever!
Schedule a Cybersecurity Check-Up Today
If you or your business is left feeling rattled and unsure about your cyber security, give us a call. We’ll help figure things out for you, and make sure you’re systems are armoured up as best as possible to face 2023!