The past year has been extremely eventful in terms of the digital threats faced by financial institutions with cybercrime groups using new infiltration techniques, and the geography of attacks has become more extensive.
According to the KSN statistics by Kaspersky Lab, the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region witnessed 17% increase in banking malware attack to reach almost half a million attacks in 2018.
Cryptocurrencies have also become an established part of many people’s lives, and a more attractive target for cybercriminals across the world, which resulted in a rapid increase in malicious mining of cryptocurrencies.
Kaspersky Lab recorded a 4-fold increase in cryptomining attacks in the META region from 3.5 million in 2017 to 13 million in 2018.
“The META region is becoming more appealing to cybercriminals, with financial and malicious cyrpotomining attacks taking center stage. We discovered six new ATM malware families in 2018,” said Fabio Assolini, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
On the other hand, illegal mining of cryptocurrencies has increased dramatically to overtake the main threat of the last few years: ransomware. We believe the reason behind this is that mining is silent and cause less impact that ransomware, making it less noticeable,”
Kaspersky says cybercriminals are not showing any signs of stopping and attacks will continue to evolve and these trends could affect our lives in the coming year.
Experts say 2019 could see the first attacks through the theft and use of biometric data.
Biometric systems for user identification and authentication are being gradually implemented by various financial institutions.
Fabio said several major leaks of biometric data have already occurred. These two facts lay the foundation for the first POC (proof-of-concept) attacks on financial services using leaked biometric data.
The emergence of new, local groups attacking financial institutions in the Indo-Pakistan region, South-East Asia and Central Europe remains a threat.
The activity of cybercriminals in these regions is constantly growing: the immaturity of protective solutions in the financial sector and the rapid spread of various electronic means of payment among the population and companies in these regions are contributing to this.
It’s also understood that mobile applications for business are gaining popularity, which is likely to lead to the first attacks on their users.
There are enough tools for this, and the possible losses that businesses incur would be much higher than the losses incurred when individuals are attacked.