Hackers could target investment apps, online financial data processing systems and upcoming cryptocurrencies, along with providing paid access to banks’ infrastructures and developing new strains of mobile banking malware based on leaked source code in 2020. These are the key predictions from anti-virus and cybersecurity behemoth Kaspersky on the threat landscape in the financial sector in the coming year.
It states that financial cyber threats are considered more dangerous, as it results in immediate losses to the victims. To counter these threats, Kaspersky says that some tweaks to the existing infrastructure would be helpful.
According to the company, for mobile investment, it is necessary to use top security measures such as multi-factor authentication or protection of the app connections. This will ensure that cyber criminals are not able to target users.
Kaspersky's research suggests that the source code of some popular mobile banking trojans have been leaked and are available in the public domain. Previous similar cases of malware source code leakage (Zeus, SpyEye) resulted in an increased number of new variations of these trojans. It warns that this pattern may repeat itself in the coming year.
Kaspersky experts say that an increase in the activity of groups specialised in the criminal-to-criminal sale of network access to banks in the African and Asian regions, as well as in Eastern Europe is very probable. Their prime targets are small banks, as well as financial organisations rebuilding their cybersecurity systems. It is expected that the same banks may become victims of targeted ransomware attacks, as banks are more likely to pay a ransom than accept the loss of data.
Over the last few years, cases of JS-skimming (stealing of payment card data from online stores) have been on the surge. Currently, Kaspersky researchers are aware of at least 10 different actors involved in these attacks and experts believe that their number will continue to grow. An attack on companies that offer solutions such as e-commerce as-a-service, could result in data of multiple companies being compromised.
"This year has been one of many important developments. Just as we predicted at the end of 2018, it has seen the emergence of new cybercriminal groups, like CopyPaste, a new geography of attacks by Silence group, cybercriminals shifting their focus onto data that helps to bypass antifraud systems in their attacks. Behavioural and biometrics data is on sale on the underground market. Additionally, we expected JS-skimmer base attacks to increase and they did. With 2020 on the horizon, we recommend security teams in potentially affected areas of the finance industry to gear up for new challenges. There is nothing inevitable in potential upcoming threats, it is just important to be properly prepared for them," says Yuriy Namestnikov, Security Researcher at Kaspersky.