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TechWFH, cryptocurrency the new hotspot for cybercriminals

WFH, cryptocurrency the new hotspot for cybercriminals

Published: 8th Dec 2021 12:02 pm

Hyderabad: Two of the most popular topics in the post pandemic world have been work from home and cryptocurrency and ransomware attackers are all set to exploit these two areas in the upcoming year as well. According to cybersecurity experts from Avast, they foresee cybercriminals making advancements to ensure the effectiveness of ransomware, a continuation of cryptocurrency scams and crypto mining malware and also attacks abusing companies with WFH policies.

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Ransomware gangs will step up their game in an attempt to keep up momentum. Avast Malware Research director Jakub Kroustek informs, “Two years ago, the most successful ransomware gangs began shifting their focus from spray and pray-like attacks on consumers, to focusing on targeted attacks on businesses. We expect this trend to continue, but also anticipate a resurgence of ransomware targeting consumers.”

Attacks on digital coins

With Bitcoin reaching a new high in 2021, experts forecast a continuation of the use of crypto mining malware, cryptocurrency-related scams, and malware targeting cryptocurrency walls, as well as heists on exchanges in 2022.

“Cybercriminals go where the money is and so they will continue to spread mining malware, malware with wallet content stealing capabilities, scams related to the trend, and will continue to carry out heists on exchanges,” says Jakub Kroustek.

Cybercriminals will target WFH

A misconfigured VPN without a two-factor authentication will leave businesses vulnerable and it will provide easy access to cybercriminals into a company’s network if they can either get their hands on login credentials or can crack them.

Avast experts predict audio deepfakes will be used in spear-phishing attacks. Criminals will use deepfake audio to imitate an executive or other employee to convince someone to grant them access to sensitive data or to a company’s network.

How to protect?

“No one should assume they are immune to cyberattacks regardless of the OS they use and the technical expertise they have,” says Kroustek.

Patching will continue to be essential when it comes to combating ransomware and other attacks that propagate via unpatched software. Attackers will use vulnerabilities/exploits more frequently, even for commodity malware, like crypto miners, according to Jakub Kroustek.

Computer and mobile users alike should stick to official sites and app marketplaces when downloading software and updates to avoid malware and scams, as well as read reviews carefully to catch any red flags. Users should avoid clicking on suspicious links, such as links sent from unknown senders, regarding purchases, for example, that they did not make, or related to accounts they do not have, and links that do not match the service being referred to in messages.

Two factor authentication should be applied wherever possible, this applies to consumers and businesses alike, but is especially important for VPN configurations.

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