The year 2019 will establish a new record, in which the number of cyber threats will reach the threshold of a billion. Bitdefender’s cybersecurity specialists anticipate that in 2020 the attacks will become increasingly sophisticated, with devastating consequences for people and companies.
Here are the ten predictions the Bitdefender computer security company’s specialists expect:
#10. More vulnerabilities with greater impact
The number of reported vulnerabilities will increase in 2020, a trend similar to that in recent years.
The number of CVEs has increased steadily over the past couple of years, and it has never fallen two years in a row. Also, given the increased fragmentation of hardware and software, and the adoption of large-scale open-source and “tweaked” hardware design, we can likely expect a cascade effect when a vulnerably is found in a component and used en masse.
These vulnerabilities will affect many vendors and manufacturers, potentially with profound consequences on consumers and organizations.
Increased adoption of bounty programs by companies and organizations has also stimulated the growth of ethical disclosures. However, non-disclosure timelines have sometimes been pushed to more than six months, which will cause a rollover in 2020 of vulnerabilities reported in 2019.
#9. Fight against government censorship (fight for privacy) will increase
The repercussions of public policies to weaken the encryption capacities and support the censorship belonging to certain States will continue in 2020 as a result of the efforts of NGOs and militants to defend their privacy to fight against them.
In the case of the Australian government, technology companies have vehemently opposed attempts to propose laws that allow authorities to decrypt certain communications services and obtain “volunteer” help from industry related to new technologies and services Developing countries.
On this background, the demand for users and criminal groupings for communications encryption tools and online activity protection will increase.
#8. Increasingly complex knowledge for attack and defense
Effective cyber-attacks, capable of fooling users and security solutions, will require increasingly advanced knowledge, such as the development of artificial intelligence algorithms, new techniques of social engineering and even skills to detect errors in physical components of devices. The efforts of criminals will go towards finding new tools and techniques to market threats that are increasingly aggressive, profitable and hard to trace.
#7 Growing areas of attack
The expansion of cloud services will further increase the attack area of companies and institutions. In addition, criminals will use legitimate global cloud platforms to transmit instructions to already infected systems, remaining undetected by security systems responsible for suspicious traffic tracking.
#6. Increasingly smart and more insecure devices
The total of 20 billion smart devices connected next year is a good incentive for attackers to find new easy-to-compromise gadgets. As long as minimum standards imposed on producers are missing-especially those related to security updates, data collection, and processing policy and troubleshooting problems during use-hackers will exploit new vulnerabilities or already discovered to make armies of increasingly large smart devices to bring down infrastructures.
Interest will increase especially on industrial ones that once attacked, even by governments motivated by government, can disrupt the functioning of critical services or infrastructures.
#5.Multi-purpose malware components that drop anything from crypto miners, ransomware, exploits, etc.
The malware-as-a-service industry will start repurposing and improving previously known malware components and tools designed for infiltration and persistence, in order to allow their “client” to deploy any type of malware, ranging from ransomware to cryptocurrency miners and spyware.
We’ve already seen an increase in droppers reused in malware campaigns and potentially by different cyber criminals, spreading multiple types of financially motivated threats. Malware developers will likely start focusing on providing tools that offer the means to infiltrate and drop malware payloads based on their “clients’” demands.
#4. States actors will engage in False flag operations
The Shadow Brokers leak, which revealed tools specifically built to plant artifacts within APTs that point to various countries, helps illustrate how cyber-warfare malware will become increasingly difficult to attribute to a specific nation or nation-sponsored cybercriminal group.
The global geopolitical context will power the development of computer weapons, either for espionage, political manipulation or the paralyzing of objectives that can affect national security.
The year of the presidential election in the United States of America, a vital event in world politics will lead to the discovery of new cyber threats to be attributed to third parties according to the political interests of the moment.
#3 DeepFakes/ Fakenews
The development of sites technologies for cyber criminality will generate a new attack beach for criminals. Phone calls based on voices of real people are used in scams designed to fool employees from companies to transfer money to the accounts of the attackers.
Cybercriminals got away with $243,000 by impersonating a Germany energy company’s CEO. The DeepVoice scam persuaded the CEO of the U.K. branch to wire the funds to a Hungarian supplier, within the hour. Simultaneously, sites will play an important role in building messages during the U.S. electoral campaign.
These incidents show how artificial creation of video and audio content using machine learning will likely result in more social engineering scams by fraudsters.
#2. Ransomware aimed at good-paying
The destruction of GandCrab has led to the emergence of new entities with a similar business model, such as Sodinokibi. Cybercriminals will target more in 2020 specific vertical, such as medical services, critical infrastructures, education, more prone to pay reward if they restrict access to data. Ransomware developers will further diversify their remedies to remain undetected by security solutions and gain greater profit.
#1 Financial-banking services, the perfect victim
As financial institutions are subjected to pressure to open their infrastructures to fintech companies, cybercriminals will take advantage of the window of opportunity, counting on weak security measures and the precious data stored in Infrastructures of financial and banking service providers.
Fintech Start-ups are more vulnerable to scams and attacks to websites or mobile applications, some use outdated programs and do not have security policies.
Recent studies show that the internet pages of these companies do not pass the compliance tests, and applications have serious problems with customer data protection or are poorly configured in IT security matters.