To give organizations and individuals a compass to help navigate the shifting cyberthreat landscape and secure the recovery phase of countries in the region, experts from Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team (Great) revealed Monday, January 10, 2022 the four top trends to look out for this year.

Kaspersky predicted a decrease of targeted ransomware attacks. The cybersecurity firm said some companies from SEA were among the victims of such attacks.

However, with strong international cooperation and multiple task forces to trace ransomware gangs, Kaspersky experts believe that the number of such attacks will decrease during 2022.

“The initial call was made by the US government, involving the FBI, and even offensive capabilities of the US Cyber Command. We anticipate that the attacks may resurface later, focusing on hitting developing countries with poor cyber-investigative capabilities or countries that are not allies of the US,” said Vitaly Kamluk, director of Great for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky, in a statement.

But given the geopolitical stance of some countries in Southeast Asia, Kaspersky said it’s likely that there will be less or even no such attacks in certain countries from the region in 2022.

Non-technology focused attacks

Advanced scam and social engineering will also be a trend this year.

Kaspersky said attackers would now focus on non-technology focused attacks, exploiting human vulnerabilities, involving all sorts of scams via SMS, automated phone calls, popular messengers, social networks etc.

In Thailand, nearly 40,000 people were scammed with their bank accounts and credit cards showing inexplicable transactions. Scammers also used fake bank websites to steal banking details of Malaysians last year. Impersonations against top e-commerce platforms in Vietnam were also used to trick users to send money.

“This trend is fueled by automation of some services, such as automatic dialing and automatic initial message delivery with expected follow-up action that triggers manual human-driven scam operation. We believe this trend will develop further in the future, including production of victim-tailored documents, images, deep fake videos, voice synthesis. It’s possible that there will be a shift back from computer-assisted crime schemes (scams) to pure cybercrime based on complete compromise of digital assets (user accounts, smartphones, personal computers). It is likely we will see the first attempts of such technically advanced scams in 2022,” Kamluk added.

Moreover, with the decrease of targeted ransomware attacks openly exposing stolen data and taking the responsibility for a breach, Kasperksy also sees the rise of stolen data being offered on the black markets.

Attacks in cryptocurrency biz

Kaspersky also expects an even more significant wave of attacks on cryptocurrency businesses.

“Even the growing industry of NFT (non-fungible token) will be targeted by cybercriminals. This is due to the fact that countries in SEA are leading in terms of NFT ownership, with the Philippines topping the list at 32 percent saying they own such digital assets,” the firm said.

“From direct attacks on employees of cryptocurrency startups and exchanges through sophisticated social engineering, software exploits, and even fake suppliers to mass attacks via supply-chain software or its components (i.e. third-party code libraries) — we will see an increase of such cases.

“Additionally, we should see more incidents of NFT property theft in the coming years. Being a totally new area, this will cause a deficit in skilled police investigators that will result in an initial surge of such attacks,” Kamluk said.

In addition, experts from the global cybersecurity company expect that these attacks will not only have an effect on the global cryptocurrency markets but also the share price of individual companies, which will also be monetized by the attackers via stock market illegal insights trading. (withPR )