Financial ServicesCybersecurity

Kaspersky sees more attacks on financial systems, cryptocurrency industry in 2022

Attacks against payment systems and advanced mobile threats will grow in 2022. These are just two of the key predictions from Kaspersky’s ‘Cyberthreats to Financial Organizations in 2022’ report.” The cybersecurity solutions firm said it will be keeping an eye on “state-sponsored groups targeting the cryptocurrency industry.”

Kaspersky noted that cybercriminals can easily adapt to changes and steer their attacks to where they could gain more advantage. The financial services industry has been in constant attack in the past years because of the wealth of — and value — information that can be obtained.

“This year has been challenging for many organizations: handling remote access for ad-hoc employees, patching hard systems connected to the internet to endure ransomware attacks, dealing with a substantial increase of mobile banking and its malware implants,” said Dmitry Bestuzhev, head of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) in Latin America. “And cybercriminals have not been shy of taking advantage of attacking markets. We have watched very regional cybercriminals shifting to other world regions making cybersecurity people work harder.”

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Pondering on the significant events and trends that shaped the financial threats’ sector in 2021, Kaspersky researchers have forecasted several important tendencies expected to occur in 2022.

Here are their key predictions:

  • Targeted cryptocurrency attacks will grow. As cryptocurrency is a digital asset and all transactions take place online, it offers anonymity to users. These are attractive features for cybercrime groups. However, it’s not only cybercriminal organizations but state-sponsored threat actors who have targeted this industry. We have already witnessed APT groups rising to attack the cryptocurrency business aggressively, and Kaspersky anticipates that this activity will continue.
  • Flawed security and fake hardware wallets as crypto hardware-based threats. While cryptocurrency attacks are becoming more targeted, cybercriminals keep coming up with new ways to steal investors’ financial assets. In the case of cryptocurrency investment opportunities, Kaspersky researchers conclude that cybercriminals will take advantage of manufacturing and retailing rogue devices with backdoors, followed by social engineering campaigns and other techniques to steal victims’ financial assets.
  • Infostealers acceleration and consolidation. Simplicity, affordability, and effectiveness in attacks will play a key role in adopting infostealers against financial assets, at least as a first-stage data collector. Different threat actors will take advantage of it to profile victims for further attacks. It includes but is not limited to targeted ransomware attacks, traditional targeted attacks, and others.
  • Mobile implants development consolidation. Pandemic stimulated mobile banking, which also has become more mature. Kaspersky experts expect more mobile banking Trojans for the Android platform, especially RATs that can circumvent security means adopted by banks (such as OTP and MFA). Local, regional Android implant projects will move globally, exporting attacks to Western Europe and other countries worldwide.

Financial predictions are part of Kaspersky’s Vertical Threat Predictions for 2022, one of the segments of the Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) – an annual series of predictions and analytical reports on key shifts in the cybersecurity world. Follow this link to look at other KSB pieces.