In the world of Cyber Security, hackers are always busy circumventing various cyber defenses and Security companies are always found racing to react to these emerging cyber threats.
Intel Security, in its latest report, has listed out the following as the new cyber security threats of 2017 and the list starts with-
Ransomware- Holding organizations data for ransom has surged up in recent times at a phenomenal rate. And SonicWall reports that ransomware attempts have swelled up from 2.8 million in 2015 to 638 million last year. The company’s report also confirms that as much as $209 million was paid in 1Q of 2016 alone. Thus the amount paid says a lot about malware developers who are using this malicious software to earn their living.
Internet of Things Botnets- In late 2016, when an enormous DDoS attack was launched on DNS Service provider called DYN, the attack proved that many service providers were ill-equipped to deal with the scope of the latest cyber attacks. Mirai Botnet was found to be the culprit and this instance shocked the entire business community which otherwise thought that security in IoT devices was just secondary. So, IoT botnets are now standing second on the threats list. And Gartner expects that around 8.4 billion of things will get connected to the Internet in this year- perhaps a lot of trouble will be in store in future.
Phishing and Whaling attacks- ‘Phishing’ is a concept where hackers send fraudulent emails from trusted accounts to target businesses through individual staff members. When an innocent staff member clicks on the email, then attachment which is tagged to the email starts functioning releasing a malware capable of stealing data. ‘Whaling’ takes the above said cyber attack strategy to next level by targeting high worth individuals, often CIOs or CEOs of a firm. FBI has warned all corporates operating in and out of United States about this scam and confirmed that hackers have succeeded in making $3 million from such fraudulent transactions last year.
Business Process Compromise Attacks- Trend Micro has described this concept of cyber attack as a relatively new phenomenon where hackers are using techniques to manipulate the day to day operations of a business in their favor. For instance, in the year 2013 drug traffickers from South America managed to intercept the network of an Antwerp to track the movement and location of containers. This helped the traffickers to retrieve the cargo at a secluded place before the naval police tried to arbitrate their operations. So, in this case, hackers were utilized to compromise the business process of a government firm to evade law enforcement forces and for financial gains.
Machine Learning enabled attacks- It looks like the technology of Artificial Intelligence seems to be serving both the good and bad people. According to a recent Intel Security report, machine learning is being used to launch social engineering attacks. Like, if hackers gain access to publicly available data, they can use complex analysis tools to pick targets more precisely and with a greater level of success. For example, in the UK, hackers are gaining access to databases related to tax filing to launch ransomware related attacks on individuals who have filed for the highest IT returns. This proves that the data available on public platforms can be used to launch attacks on individuals for minting money.
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