The specialists of Positive Technologies identified the cyber threats of 2023 and gave a forecast for 2024.

The specialists of Positive Technologies identified the cyber threats of 2023 and gave a forecast for 2024.

Positive Technologies experts talked about the main threats in the field of cyber security for 2023 and presented a forecast for 2024. According to IS experts, the share of spy software in attacks on Russian organizations was 45%. The number of attacks on web resources has increased by 44% in the three quarters of 2023, and cybercriminals are using a double extortion technique where they demand a ransom from a compromised organization and its customers. The information service of Habra was told about this in the press service of the IT company.

According to Positive Technologies, targeted attacks accounted for 73% of all attacks (including organizations and individuals) in the three quarters of 2023, up 5% from 2022. In 58% of attacks, access to confidential information resulted. In 41% of the attacks, the consequences were a violation of the main activities of organizations.

In the three quarters of 2023, 43% of cases of data theft attacks on organizations involved personal data. In 27% of attacks, personal data was stolen from private individuals. Also, credentials were stolen from private individuals in 38% of attacks.

The number of attacks on the web resources of organizations increased by 44% in the first three quarters of 2023. Telecom took the leading place. During the specified period, the number of incidents in the telecom increased by 1.8 times.

35% of vulnerabilities fell on web applications. 51% of DDoS attacks fell on transport companies. 73% of cyber-incidents caused the disruption of the main activities of transport companies. For example, Russian Railways OJSC said that its website and mobile application were down for several hours due to a massive cyber attack. Because of this attack, passengers could buy tickets only at train stations.

Iryna Zinovkina

Head of the research group of the IS analytics department of Positive Technologies

“In 2023, extortion in cyberspace has gone from demanding a ransom for decrypting data to encryption and blackmail by publishing stolen data (double extortion). This trend can be traced to the fact that organizations have begun to implement more complex protection measures, which, from the point of view of attackers, makes encryption attacks less effective than before. In addition, the abandonment of the encryption stage and the transition to extortion due to threats of publication of stolen data can also be caused by the release of various decryptors by security specialists. All of the above has led to the trend of abandoning the encryption step — now attackers are more likely to use stolen confidential information as the main tool to pressure victims.”

In 2023, attacks on secure data transmission systems and other IT solutions intensified. In the third quarter, new vulnerabilities in information transmission solutions were revealed. For example, in September, Rapid7 researchers discovered several vulnerabilities in South River Technologies’ Titan MFT and Titan SFTP managed file transfer systems. Vulnerabilities are currently closed.

In 2023, social engineering methods evolved. This is due to the complication of techniques and the use of neural networks. Attackers had two main goals: increasing persuasiveness and bypassing automatic recognition systems. In the arsenal of cyber crooks, there were modular tools for creating convincing phishing sites and mailings, as well as multi-stage attacks. AI helped criminals maintain the illusion of a meaningful dialogue with the victim, generate convincing phishing emails, and create deep fakes. In the first quarter of 2023, a new phishing campaign was discovered that uses a copy of the ChatGPT platform to defraud investors.

The use of spyware increased to 27% in the first three quarters of 2023. In 2022, the share of spyware was 18%. In 2024, Positive Technologies experts predict the evolution of social engineering methods and the development of the double extortion trend.

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