We were at the Grand Lexis Resort in Port Dickson, Malaysia last Nov. 18 to 21, 2015 to attend Kaspersky Lab’s APAC Cyber Security Summit and we’ll share with you what we learned about hacker and tech culture from Kaspersky Lab’s Global and Research Analysis Team (GReAT).
Cyber risks we should be aware of
As soon as we hit the submit button during sign up for social media sites, we already permanently give away part of our identities on the Internet. And even if we decide to delete it, we actually leave small bits of traces that can make stealing your information easier for just about anyone.
Before we proceed further, allow us to give you an insight on who are the adversaries and their motives behind such villainous acts:
- Hostile Nation-States – described as the most sophisticated threat because the motivation behind attacks are largely political.
- Criminal Groups –easily those who do people wrong for monetary gain
- Activists – to promote an ideology
- Enthusiast Hackers – are those who terrorize just because they enjoy the challenge and prestige.
- Industrial/Economic Espionage –this large scale illegal activity is fueled by the motive to steal proprietary information.
One of the current bouts against cyber criminals in the APAC region is bank attacks. We’ve seen posts on social media about ATMs getting hacked and having fake keypads on them. There’s also plenty of online banking mishaps that’s been going around in which cybercriminals have victimized unsuspecting account holders through fake bank websites.
Another threat is cyber espionage. In this issue, we’ll look into the Dark Hotel case to further understand the dangers of this cybercrime. Let’s take executive A as an example. He goes to check in this 5-star hotel, after connecting to the hotel’s Wi-Fi network he receives a software update and as soon as he clicks, he gets a malicious executable. Little did he know that the attackers already knew he was checking in at X hotel and compromised the hotel Wi-Fi network prior to it.
Predictions for 2016
On a global scale, here’s what security researchers from Kaspersky Lab’s GReAT have predicted:
- The world will soon see the end of Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) as it is no longer in demand. However, it will be replaced by harder to detect and combat attacks.
- Attackers will target researchers by compromising industry standard tools.
- Ransomware—a malware that prevents users from accessing their system and forces victims to pay ransom in exchange for their data–will grow bigger in 2016: spreading across platforms such as mobile and OS X-run devices, and as Internet of Things (IoT) comes to fruition attackers will also branch out to lock down IoT-devices in exchange for money.
As for the APAC region, here’s what we should know:
- With the advancement of technology, targeted attackers will also become more mature.
- The financial sector will be targeted by foreign organized criminal groups.
- Cyberattackers will ask for cryptocurrency in exchange of, for example, unlocking your system, instead of cold, hard cash.
- There will be a rise in cyber sabotage incidents.
How can we protect ourselves from these attacks?
Unless you choose to go and live in the Himalayas, away from technology, you are not safe from cyber-attacks. However, you could keep yourself off the victim demographics by following these tips:
- Do you still use your birthday or your mom’s name as your password? It’s time to change that. Switch around letters and number to give cyber foes a hell of a hard time figuring out what your password is.
- Carefully inspect email links and attachments, never download if it appears suspicious.
- Install a trusty anti-virus, or if you already have one, make sure it’s up to date.
- You may want to enable some of the modules of protection you think are slowing your device down, your device is most likely to get infected without it.
With the Internet of Things slowly becoming a reality, the concept of chipping humans to improve human-tech interaction floated up the surface. Present technologies now make smart chip implantations safe and totally effective. Intended as an identification device, the 2x12mm glass-encapsulated, passive 13.56MHz chip can allow you access to devices that support NFC. A biohacker will pull up a fold of skin and implant the chip by injecting it into the space between the thumb and pointer finger. The chip will sit snugly just below the surface of the skin—and will move around occasionally. Not to be alarmed, it’s completely normal. If you are interested, the whole procedure costs around USD 99, while the chip can be bought at dangerousthings.com.
While this emerging trend sounds exciting, as with anything, there are dangers to it. As the chip carries information–basically making it a key for everything–it will attract the attention of cybercriminals; you will be under their target radar, which puts your life at risk. This is why Kaspersky Lab is working with BioNyfiken create solutions and secure the biohacking community, while learning more, from a security aspect, about the implications of these biohacks.
Click to enlarge photos: