From Malware Distribution To IoT Attacks, Top Cybersecurity Threats To Watch Out In 2020


Cybersecurity firm Avast has announced predictions for 2020 in its annual Threat Landscape Report. From Malware distribution to IoT-based attacks. Full details.

Written By Tech Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

Cybersecurity firm Avast has announced predictions for 2020 in its annual Threat Landscape Report, as follows. We take a look:

Malware distribution to PCs

Malware infiltration is at its peak. Experts predict that in 2020, we will witness more sophisticated methods in how malware is delivered to PCs. There will also be a rise in more sophisticated methods of spreading threats being deployed. Some of these advanced methods include distributing malware, courtesy of malicious emails.

Another method could be stealing incoming emails to spy on victims. These stolen incoming emails could also be used to add a malicious payload, which is sent back in the conversation. Researchers believe it is harder for people to spot malicious emails or suspicious links and attachments, which is what makes attacks more likely to be successful.

"Cybercriminals are constantly innovating and looking for new ways to circumvent today’s powerful personal and business security solutions," Avast’s Head of the Threat Intelligence Systems, Jakub Kroustek.

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Fake, malicious apps

Vulnerabilities in mobile operating systems are highly likely to be exploited in 2020, which will also witness the rise of more subscription scams and fake apps. Fake, scam apps making their ways into official app stores will increase the damage. Meanwhile, more iOS vulnerabilities will be exposed by security researchers and bad actors alike, Avast has warned.

Since getting malicious apps approved onto Play Store and App Store is not easy, cybercriminals are shifting towards subscription scams and fake apps integrated with aggressive adware to make money, according to Nikoloas Chrysaidos, Head of Mobile Threat Intelligence and Security at Avast.

"We are already seeing community projects, like checkra1n, providing high-quality semi-tethered iOS jailbreaks based on the checkm8 bootrom exploit. While this could enable researchers to discover more vulnerabilities, we hope they will be reported to Apple and not abused by the bad guys," Chrysaidos said.

READ | 72% of cybersecurity suspicions turn out to be actual threats: Study

Internet of Things (IoT) devices on radar

In 2020, devices and physical locations will become smart with the rise in IoT-enabled technologies. Smart tech are expected to get even smarter with vendors collecting more data on their users to learn and predict their behaviour. Cybersecurity experts and researchers predict bad actors to continue adding obfuscation to their IoT malware, similar to how cybercriminals attempt to protect their Windows malware code from being analysed by researchers. 

Researchers also foresee the development of new exploits for smart devices and predict that malware authors will continue to build upon older, already established malware families, expanding them with newly released exploits to widen their IoT attack surface.

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