New year likely to see businesses, cloud infrastructure come under sophisticated cyber attacks

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on December 31, 2019 Published on December 31, 2019

Having duped individual users, cyber criminals might well target businesses and cloud infrastructure to tap bigger troves of data. They could also tap deep fake content by creating fake news and videos, creating confusion among investors and damaging the reputation of corporates and organisations.

Hackers could also try to exploit the end of technical support for Windows 7.

Armed with Artificial Intelligence solutions, cyber criminals, State-actors included, are likely to deploy sophisticated methods to launch cyber attacks.

The New Year could be a tougher one, with cyber attacks getting more sophisticated, cyber security experts warn.

Seqrite, an arm of cyber security solutions firm, QuickHeal, has predicted that ransomware attacks would evolve into sophisticated attacks in 2020.

“We see a number of complex ransomware attacks directed at cloud infrastructures. A single successful breach by malware could give threat actors the opportunity to compromise large amounts of data,” said Sanjay Katkar, Chief Technology Officer and Joint Managing Director – Quick Heal Technologies.

Deepfake attacks

Seqrite predicts that deep fake attacks would gain momentum in the New Year by creating fake or manipulated video and audio clips through Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). These clips could mar the image of corporates as it is very difficult to tell whether they are true or fake.

The recent APT (advanced persistent threat) attack on the Kudankulam nuclear power plant has emphasised the significance of security for critical infrastructure.

In an APT attack, an intruder sneaks into a network and loiters around undetected for weeks, months or even years, to steal information.

“We may witness a rise in such attacks on critical public infrastructure such as transportation networks, power plants and telecommunication systems,” he said.

5G to come with threats

With 5G telecom services beginning to make a presence, cyber criminals are likely to strike at the new entry points and vulnerabilities.

“The new potential entry points – from internet cars to smart refrigerators – can potentially be tapped. The increase in threats to confidentiality and privacy will be unprecedented, with organisations and institutions required to monitor a much larger landscape for attacks,” he cautioned.

End of the road for Windows 7

With Microsoft announcing the end of technical support for Windows 7, security experts see huge scope for intrusions. “Microsoft has taken many steps to block MS Office exploits, making it harder to execute exploit codes on newer Windows variants. This is expected to drive a shift towards macro-based attacks among threat actors. Macro-based attacks can be executed across all versions of MS Office,” he said.

Published on December 31, 2019

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