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2019 to see rise in hand-delivered, targeted cyberattacks

By Adeyemi Adepetun
21 November 2018   |   4:02 am
Cyberattacks in 2019 are expected to get more sophisticated as there will be rise in hand-delivered and targeted attacks.


Cyberattacks in 2019 are expected to get more sophisticated as there will be rise in hand-delivered and targeted attacks.

In a new report, produced by SophosLabs researchers, which explored changes in the threat landscape over the past 12 months, uncovering trends and how they are expected to impact cybersecurity in 2019, noted that organizations must have adequate measures against attacks.

Chief Technical Officer, Sophos, Joe Levy, said the threat landscape is undoubtedly evolving; less skilled cyber criminals are being forced out of business, the fittest among them step up their game to survive and we’ll eventually be left with fewer, but smarter and stronger, adversaries.

Levy said these new cybercriminals are effectively a cross-breed of the once esoteric, targeted attacker, and the pedestrian purveyor of off-the-shelf malware, using manual hacking techniques, not for espionage or sabotage, but to maintain their dishonorable income streams.

The SophosLabs 2019 Threat Report, noted that Capitalist cybercriminals are turning to targeted ransomware attacks that are premeditated and reaping millions of dollars in ransom.

According to the report, 2018 saw the advancement of hand-delivered, targeted ransomware attacks that are earning cybercriminals millions of dollars.

It noted that targeted ransomware is more damaging than if delivered from a bot, as human attackers can find and stake out victims, think laterally, trouble shoot to overcome roadblocks, and wipe out back-ups so the ransom must be paid.

The British Security Software and Hardware Company, noted that these cybercriminals are using readily available Windows systems administration tools –
This year’s report uncovered a shift in threat execution, as more mainstream attackers now employ Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) techniques to use readily available IT tools as their route to advance through a system and complete their mission – whether it’s to steal sensitive information off the server or drop ransomware.

The report also revealed the continued threat of mobile and IoT malware. It noted that Malware’s impact extends beyond the organization’s infrastructure as threats from mobile malware grow apace.

With illegal Android apps on the increase, Sophos pointed out that 2018 has seen an increased focus in malware being pushed to phones, tablets and other IoT devices.

As homes and businesses adopt more Internet-connected devices, criminals have been devising new ways to hijack those devices to use as nodes in huge botnet attacks.

In 2018, the report a VPNFilter demonstrated the destructive power of weaponized malware that affects embedded systems and networked devices that have no obvious user interface.

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