Crypto, skimmers and extortion prime targets for cybercriminals in 2021

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Cybercrime has been a constant fixture throughout 2020 and that won’t change when the calendar flips to 2021.

As we near the end of the year, cybersecurity firms are looking to the future and preparing for what will surely be a 2021 of new threats, honed attacks and the use of unique attack surfaces.

Part of that involves predicting what could happen in the next year and Kaspersky has outlined what the financial sector’s threat landscape could look like.

“This year was substantially different from any other year we experienced, and yet, many trends that we anticipated to come to life last year came true regardless of this transformation of how we live. These include new strategies in financial cybercrime – from reselling bank access to targeting investment applications — and the further development of already existing trends, for instance, even greater expansion of card skimming and ransomware being used to target banks,” says security researcher at Kaspersky, Dmitry Bestuzhev.

So what dangers are lurking ahead?

One of the more concerning predictions is a rise in extortion tied to ransomware attacks.

Extortion provides a double-whammy for cybercriminals as they are potentially able to coax a fee out of a business to decrypt the data and extort them by claiming the data that was encrypted will be released to the public.

In order to execute these extortion attempts, Kaspersky predicts that ransomware gangs will use zero-day exploits more frequently throughout 2021.

Bitcoin is currently experiencing massive growth in its value and while more people might be investing, cybercriminals are also looking at the cryptocurrency. Kaspersky says that, due to the pandemic which has brought about massive economic problems, cybercriminals will target Bitcoin as more folks around the world look to squeeze value from what little money they have.

“As Kaspersky researchers anticipate, due to the weakness of local currencies, more people may focus on fraud that demands Bitcoin, as well as Bitcoin theft, since it is the most widespread cryptocurrency,” the cybersecurity firm says.

Another concern is that MageCarting – stealing payment information from ecommerce platforms – will rise. While there appear to be fewer client-side attacks at present, Kaspersky predicts a rise in server-side attacks moving into the next year.

“Forecasting upcoming threats is important, as it enables us to better prepare to defend ourselves against them, and we are confident our forecast will help many cybersecurity professionals to work on their threat model,” Bestuzhev concludes.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.