Major corporations all around the world have been victims of cybercrime in recent years, ranging from data breaches to unauthorised access of financial accounts, to digital impersonations of CEOs, and everything in between. Companies of all types, sizes, and industries are at risk. The defence for cyber attacks has gone downhill as a result of COVID-19 and worst of all, organisations have had to deal with massive cyberattacks this year, including some of the most serious hacks and breaches.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you consider all of the varied cyberthreats that your company faces today. What should you do first, and how can you be sure you’re up to date? As we move further into 2021, your organisation should take more proactive measures to prepare yourself. To begin, we’ve identified some of the most new cyber attacks in 2021 that all organisations should be aware of, so you can be prepared for them in whatever form they take:
- Zero Day Vulnerability Exploits
The zero-day exploit was first discovered in 2014, but as time went on, it became more sophisticated, making it one of the most deadly exploits to date. Though the notion isn’t new, it is becoming more prevalent as technology advances. This is owing to cybercriminals’ increasing awareness of new ways to find such attacks. Microsoft Exchange Servers have lately been harmed by zero-day attacks. The actors were able to gain access to email accounts, steal data, and even install malware on the infected PCs.
It is predicted that zero-day flaws in widely-used software will continue to be a significant security issue during the rest of 2021 and beyond, as they provide attackers with a broad attack scope. This is especially true in light of policymakers’ increased drive for authorities to “stockpile” such vulnerabilities for use in investigations.
- Advanced Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware was prevalent in 2020 and will not go away anytime soon due to its profitability. Ransomware encrypts files on computers and demands a ransom in exchange for the files’ originals. The development of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has undoubtedly aided ransomware assaults by making the malevolent actor more anonymous. The Cyrat ransomware was disguised as software to restore corrupted DLL files on the computer in the case of the Cyrat ransomware. Parts of the system are encrypted during execution in reality. It’s probable that more sophisticated attacks may occur in the coming years.
For example, ransomware on a Mac may demand a greater payment than malware on a Windows machine. This is due to the fact that Mac configurations are often more expensive than Windows setups. It is possible to make an estimate of a person’s relative net worth based on this information.
- Social engineering
In a social engineering attack, it’s not only the technology that’s at stake. The human element is targeted via social engineering. Phishing is one of the most well-known examples. Social engineering can take the shape of an email, a face-to-face meeting, or even a phone conversation to obtain sensitive information.
Sim swapping is an assault in which the bad actor obtains access to the victim’s SIM card. The mobile carrier is duped into believing that the bad actor is the true client thanks to devious social engineering. If the bad actor is successful, he or she has possession of the SIM card and receives text messages and phone calls. This type of assault can also be used to get access to social media accounts or cryptocurrency wallets.
The social side of social engineering can also be completely dependent on it. It’s possible that the person who comes to “repair your faulty WiFi” isn’t who you think he or she is. Companies frequently schedule meetings with you ahead of time. It’s usually a good idea to decline such unexpected appointments.
- Malvertising & spoof accounts
Bogus social media accounts and fake information are another rising concern that everyone must be aware of today. It’s one of those silent dangers that can be dangerous to your company and even harm its reputation by disseminating false information.
Malvertising refers to deceptive advertising. Malware is distributed using web advertisements in this case. This is commonly accomplished by inserting harmful code snippets into advertisements. The adverts are then displayed on a variety of websites that use the advertising network in order to benefit from the ads. The adverts that are displayed are rarely under the control of the websites. It is the advertising network’s responsibility to address this issue.
The “ScamClub” organisation has launched a new malvertising operation that targets the Safari browser. The malvertising campaign took advantage of CVE-2021–1801, a privilege-escalation flaw. Threat actors may have gained illegal access to the systems in question, according to the source.
- Watering Hole Attacks
It’s yet another cyber threat that will emerge in 2021. The victim of a watering hole attack is a member of a specific group. This cybercrime targets a website that is often visited by people from specific regions, cities, and organisations that is designed to compromise users within a specific industry or function by infecting websites they typically visit, that then lures them into a malicious site. These types of attacks become more effective when combined with email prompts to lure the users to these websites.
An example from earlier this year is the Oldsmar water. An investigation discovered that a Florida-based infrastructure contractor housed malicious code on its website in a so-called “watering hole” attack. However, in this situation, the compromised website did not attempt to get access to visitors’ computers or transmit exploit code. However, in this situation, the compromised website did not attempt to get access to visitors’ computers or transmit exploit code. Instead, the injected malware served as a browser enumeration and fingerprinting script, harvesting information such as the operating system, CPU, and browser used by visitors to the website (and plugins).
- SQL Injection Attack
Another popular threat that has continued to be noticed more in 2021 is SQL injection, often known as SQLI. In this attack, fraudsters manipulate back-end databases with SQL code to get access to information that should be kept concealed from users, such as confidential company data or private customer information.
For more than fifteen years, SQL injection has been one of the oldest vulnerabilities on the OWASP TOP 10. It enables for the theft and modification of information (sensitive or not) stored in millions of databases around the world. Data appears to have become one of the world’s most sought-after commodities… and when something is precious, it attracts the attention of unscrupulous individuals who will pay any price to obtain it. As a result, if we want to protect ourselves from SQL injection, we must first understand it.
What can you do to defend yourself in the face of ever-evolving cyber threats? Cyber-attacks are not going away anytime soon, and the future will bring many new technological advances. In the cyber arena, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The best way to achieve that is to stay informed on the various strategies employed by cybercriminals and take preventative steps as needed. Developing a highly resilient cyber defence system would be highly useful to an organisation in the long run.
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About Salt Communications
Salt Communications is a multi-award winning cyber security company providing a fully enterprise-managed software solution giving absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. Salt Communications offers ‘Peace of Mind’ for Organisations who value their privacy, by giving them complete control and secure communications, to protect their trusted relationships and stay safe. Salt Communications is headquartered in Belfast, N. Ireland, for more information visit Salt Communications.