Future of cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is an ever changing, fast paced landscape always with one guaranteed element. More hacks. Experts are expecting roughly $150 billion in investments this year for prevention alone which cannot fully guarantee protection from hackers of every kind.
This past 12 months we have witnessed Russian Government Hacks directed at Ukraine, increasing ransomware opportunites preying on hospitals and even governments, non stop crypto rackues alongside well known attacks to companies system such as Microsoft, NXIVM and game maker Rockstar Games said to be comprised of teenagers.
Leaving a backdrop off bleakness for 2020 with budget impacts from countless organisations heavily investing already having waning effect industry experts have reiterated their reservation that hacker endeavours won’t let up in the foreseeable future.
Russia continues its online operations against Ukraine
Ukraine came into the global cybersecurity spotlight throughout the year for all numerous reasons. This attention came in large part due to the relentless attacks and disruptions perpetrated by Russia’s government groups.
Viasat, a space communications trialling civilian and military use in Ukraine were cyber attacked and Victor Zhora recounted it led to a “huge loss of communication in the early stages of war” for his homeland.
In separate cases up to six targets with Ukrainer connection experienced destructive wiper malware — malicious programs designed purposefully to erase data –in aid of waged clashes not necessarily treatened as intimate symptoms disclosed in mechanised warfare; see Prof. Stefano Zanero affiliated with Milan’s Politecnico Division on Computer Technologies whose philosophy posit conceptions warring media remains an inappropriate expression connected grimly associated prospects cyber confictions postulated.
According to Eva Galperin, the director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, cyber espionage is often mistaken for cyber war. However, recent events have shown that cyber attacks can indeed have a physical impact. Despite this potential, Russia has been underprepared in the cyber domain, which has limited its effectiveness in the conflict with Ukraine. On the other hand, Ukraine has invested in its cyber defenses and has received support from the international community. Additionally, the rise of hacktivists like the decentralized IT Army shows that future wars could also be fought on the internet. Overall, the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine have highlighted the importance of cyber security and defense.
Ransomware runs rampant again
Government agencies in Costa Rica, Montenegro, and Albania fell victim to damaging ransomware attacks this year, signaling a growing trend of geopolitical implications rather than just a technical issue. Ransomware researcher, Allan Liska warns that this trend will likely continue into next year. However, there is some good news in the fight against ransomware, as the “ransomware-as-a-service model” is showing signs of decline due to increasing scrutiny from governments and hacktivist groups. Affiliates of these groups are starting to recognize the dangers of being affiliated with larger groups, which are more likely to attract unwanted attention. In the words of Katie Nickels, director of intelligence at Red Canary, “adversaries are starting to realize that they don’t want to be under a specific name that brings the attention of the US government or other international partners.”
Law enforcement agencies have taken more frequent and effective actions against ransomware this year, according to security researcher Brett Callow and Liska. This may mean that governments are finally making progress in their efforts to combat the problem. However, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has made international cooperation more challenging. Although there was initial cooperation between Russia and the US in January, the situation has since deteriorated, and further cooperation is unlikely. Unfortunately, this setback could make it more difficult to cut off the source of ransomware attacks. WithSecure’s CTO, Christine Bejerasco, expressed concern about this development.
Crypto is still going to crypto, baby
In 2022, hackers were able to steal at least $3 billion worth of cryptocurrency from various projects and companies in the Web3 space. This marks a significant increase in cryptocurrency hacks, which have been happening since cryptocurrencies were invented. More than 100 large-scale victims were reported, and incidents seemed to be occurring almost daily. The most notable hack was on the Nomad protocol, leading to what was dubbed as “the first decentralized robbery” in history. However, there is a glimmer of hope as more cybersecurity professionals are expected to enter the crypto industry and create secure practices. Tal Be’ery, CTO of crypto wallet app ZenGo, believes that building blocks are in place to make cryptosecurity solutions specific to blockchain. Meanwhile, the Lapsus$ group had an outsized success targeting software supply chain providers like Okta, which allowed them to infiltrate big-name companies like Microsoft, Nvidia, and Rockstar Games. Supply chain attacks are expected to be both the present and future of hacking because cybersecurity companies have a large footprint across several industries. Despite the progress, attackers are still ahead, and it is crucial to remain vigilant against these pervasive threats.