Trellix research reveals major cyber threats to lookout for in 2023

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Cyber threats

As we make our way through 2023, organizations of all sizes are struggling with cybersecurity threats and incidents like never before. The increase in attacks has forced businesses to rethink their security strategies, as well as how they use technology to protect themselves from a continually evolving range of cyber criminals who are always looking for weaknesses in networks.

In order to stay ahead of the curve against potential cyber-attacks, the Trellix Advanced Research Center has compiled an extensive list of insights for strategic planning in 2023. Being knowledgeable about where threats are emerging and correctly investing your effort into security measures can give you a decisive advantage when safeguarding your organization from malicious activity.

Rising cyber threats to lookout for in 2023

1.     Hacktivism

In the upcoming years, cyber threats inspired by political and financial motives are projected to intensify. Hacktivism – hacking triggered by social or ideological objectives – is likely to make a comeback due to rising global tensions in 2023. The potential for disruption caused by loosely organized individuals aligned with particular causes may grow as they increasingly use cyber tools on their missions.

With hacktivism being an available resource for those with varying agendas – it promises perfect anonymity to carry out their objectives while providing plausible deniability as they are not responsible for instigation.

2.     Supply chain-related breaches

The influx of attention given to supply-chain attacks and attack vectors in 2022 heightened the vigilance of both malicious actors and security researchers, who proceeded to delve deeper into these frameworks’ underlying structures. This scrutiny will likely reveal a slew of unknown or forgotten vulnerabilities which can have drastic consequences if exploited – leading us all to further enhance visibility across our systems by digging deep into exactly what code resides within them.

3.     Teen cybercriminals

As technology continues to evolve, so too do the methods by which the youth can misuse it. By 2023 we expect an increase in unlawful activity amongst teens and young adults, from sophisticated cyber-attacks on enterprises and governments, all the way down to common offenses. Although some ambitious global initiatives seek to protect youths against digital misdeeds, more must be done – particularly among parents who remain ill-informed about how their children could become involved with illicit activities online.

4.     Decreased accuracy of code-based attribution

In today’s digital landscape, the anonymity of online actors allows them to carry out malicious activities under a cloak of secrecy. However, even with this shield in place it is usually eventually possible for researchers and investigators to trace these same individuals by carefully examining code-based evidence such as malware samples and coding styles – akin to studying somebody’s handwriting. Unfortunately, increasingly sophisticated techniques used by offenders combined with reusing previously leaked source codes could mean that traditional attribution methods would become less reliable in the future if nothing changes.

5.     Evolving cyberwarfare

Cyberwarfare continues to evolve at an alarming rate, with both malicious and unaware users becoming targets in aggressive campaigns. It will only worsen as adversaries leverage unsuspecting victims for attacks against vital infrastructure. Additionally, there could be exponential growth in IoT devices hijacked for use in warfare activities such as distributed denial of service strikes.

6.     Phishing attacks

By 2023, businesses may be at greater risk of weaponized phishing attacks which could spread to common communications services and applications. As hybrid work cultures expand the attack surface beyond corporate networks onto employee home devices, threat actors have capitalized on this opportunity for easier targeting. To combat these rising incidences of malicious attempts against companies, organizations are beginning to prioritize cyber security measures.

7.     Cryptomining using IoT

The recent volatility in cryptocurrency values has made crypto mining a less than attractive proposition. However, IoT devices remain an attractive platform for Coinminers due to their lack of security measures and ability to join forces with other systems as part of botnets like Mirai which can bring thousands under one virtual roof. We anticipate that the trend of mining crypto via vulnerable IoT will only increase in future applications unless proper precautions are taken during the production stages.

8.     Space hacking

As satellite networks expand and integrate more into our daily lives, we can expect to see a heightened risk of cyberattacks targeting these space assets in 2023. Moreover, ransomware has become an ever-growing threat for users of critical infrastructure like satellites – such malicious actors often exploit the high-value proposition behind these services by locking them up and demanding lucrative ransoms from providers or businesses.

9.     Reverse vishing attacks

As the technological world continues to grow, the potential for malicious attacks increases alongside. Reverse vishing is one such example of this trend that is expected to surge in prevalence. Reverse vishing is a method of deception where attackers cold call unsuspecting victims and request contact information such as credit card details. This type of attack exploits less tech-aware users and requires them to return the call, rather than the attacker calling them initially. Therefore, it is important for organizations, particularly those with vulnerable user bases, to remain vigilant against possible reverse vishing attacks.

10.  Attacks against Windows

As technological advancements continue to accelerate, so do the potential vulnerabilities of user network domains. It is anticipated that in 2023 more domain privilege escalation vulnerabilities will be discovered. This could lead to further malicious activity in the form of attacks on Windows-based networks to claim total control.

11.  Geopolitically motivated cyberattacks

As geopolitical tensions have surged over the past year, they have created numerous opportunities for cyber threat actors to target businesses and individuals in affected countries. Through malicious tactics such as hacktivism and misinformation campaigns, these hostile forces aim to weaken national defenses against invaders, manipulate foreign policies that do not align with their agenda, and ultimately further their strategic objectives. Geopolitically motivated cyberattacks remain an enduring component of the global cybersecurity landscape well into 2023.

Source: Trellix

Read next: 5 trends financial institutions can see in 2023

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