With the year drawing to a close and the holidays fast approaching, we take time to look back at the cyber attacks that dominated the world of cyber crime in 2018. By understanding the main tactics used by cyber criminals this year, we can predict and become more prepared for next year’s threats.
5 Most Common Cyber Attacks in 2018
These attacks have always been popular, as encrypting data and holding it for ransom is a profitable attack. In 2018, with the increasing popularity of cloud services, criminals turned their attention to ransoming data on the cloud. Most of these attacks have been successful for the perpetrators, as users of cloud services assume they have a certain level of security and do not take extra precautions, such as a data backup that is locally stored.
Cryptojacking rose in popularity when the prices of cryptocurrencies drastically increased. Although we are no longer at that ‘all-time high’, prices could skyrocket again. Cryptojacking’s popularity may rise and fall continuously for the next few years, but it is here to stay because it is a low-risk crime. For criminals, there is a lot of money to be made and the crimes normally go undetected.
Socially Engineered Malware
Criminals have come to understand most people would not open a file sent by a stranger, but they are likely to open a file/attachment from a friend or family member they trust. The user is tricked into opening a file or software that collects private data without detection. New attacks include websites that inject code into the browser to collect data.
These programs are responsible for hundreds of millions of successful hacks each year. A good quality malware prevention program is the first step to protecting yourself from these attacks, however, the end user also needs to be educated so they can recognize these attacks, when they appear.
Social Media Threats
Since we spend so much time on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, it can be easy to overlook the threats on these services. The attacks take advantage of the connections we have to other people on these platforms. An attack can start with a friend request that shares a link or asks you to download something. These are all strategies to trick you into giving up information.
These attacks are also used to embarrass companies, as hackers take over a companies social media and post inappropriate content that is damaging to the company’s brand.
Artificial Intelligence Weaponization
These attacks are the modern version of spearfishing. Criminals use the same machine learning and neural networks used to predict cyber attacks, to trick users. They are able to use this technology to find out information on their target from social networks, company websites, and other sites to tailor make messages that are so convincing, they can even get past the tools used to detect them.
What To Expect in 2019
As technology and our computing behaviors keeps changing, as will cyber attacks continue to change and evolve. The increasing use of mobile devices attached to cloud services means we need to expect more of the above attacks on our phones, tablets, and even smartwatches.
For peace of mind, make sure you are up to date on the best data backup and recovery software. Contact ActiveImage today for more information on how to protect your business.