G DATA forecast for 2018: Bitcoin and co. targeted by cyber criminals
Companies, cryptocurrencies and the Internet of Things are increasingly in the sights of cyber criminals
security. WannaCry and NotPetya also demonstrated that criminals have refined their methods and that companies are being specifical-ly targeted. For 2018, G DATA security experts are not able to give the all-clear. They expect a further increase in the threat level next year. In times of low interest rates, more and more people are turn-ing to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Cyber criminals have estab-lished lucrative illegal business models. Some have started using disguised miners as well as other attack methods to get hold of cryptocurrencies.
G DATA security experts expect to see almost 10 million new malware strains for Windows and some 3.5 million for Android in 2017 as a whole. The statistics show that the threat level is steadily on the rise. Many everyday activities such as banking or shopping are done online. The processes behind those activities are getting easier by the day as a result of voice-activated personal assistants and improved usability. This increases the attack surface for criminals.
“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are currently chasing one record after the next. More and more people are taking an interest in digital currencies. Criminals are taking advantage of this trend and are increasingly focusing on Internet users in this field,” explains Tim Berghoff, G DATA Security Evangelist. “In addition, we expect to see more attacks on platforms that were not previously targeted on a very large scale, as many of the trends involving the Internet of Things, such as personal digital assistants and smart appliances, have become routine.”
- More focus on IoT:Smart devices have arrived in private households and companies. The Internet of Things is no longer just a trend. For many it has become a permanent fixture in their everyday life. Cyber criminals are going to establishing more illegal business models in 2018.
- Ransomware attacks on the up: In 2017 cyber criminals again achieved high revenues through attacks using those virtual extortionists. The methods have become increasingly sophisticated. Therefore, a further increase in ransomware malware is expected in 2018.
- Extortion involving private data:Data theft has been and extremely lucrative business for many years. In the past, cyber criminals have frequently offered the data they have obtained for sale on the darknet. G DATA experts are currently seeing a trend in affected companies being blackmailed with this data and ransom payments being demanded.
- Attacks on voice-activated assistants:More and more users are starting to rely on personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa.
In 2018, G DATA security experts expect to see successful attacks on these platforms and the first profitable business models.
- New data protection laws: The deadline for the European GDPR is approaching fast. The law will be in full effect on May 25. Many companies still have to address an urgent backlog in implementing the regulations. By the deadline date, companies have to ensure that their customers’ data is being processed and safeguarded in compliance with the law. G DATA expects that around 50 percent will not have achieved full compliance by then.
- Cryptocurrencies as an attack vector:The hype surrounding cryptocurrencies is reminiscent of the gold rush in the 19th century. More and more people are investing in digital currency. Cyber criminals are making concerted efforts to trick users into giving up their digital money.