Kaspersky reveals top 4 cyber threat landscape trends in SEA this 2022 

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As the world embraces the year 2022, Kaspersky issues its latest report on the cyber threat trends in Southeast Asia this year. 

Cybercriminals continue to evolve, expanding to different areas and targeting various industries, ranging from airlines to social media giants, through other sophisticated means. To provide organizations and concerned individuals an insight to navigate through the ever-growing cyber threat landscape, experts from Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) revealed the four top trends to look out for this 2022:

Decrease of Targeted Ransomware Attacks

The times of pandemic coincided with the rise of targeted ransomware attacks worldwide, focusing on the most valuable targets and interruption-sensitive businesses. 

Some companies from SEA were among the victims of such attacks. However, with strong international cooperation and multiple task forces to trace ransomware gangs, Kaspersky experts believe that such attacks will decrease during 2022. 

Given the geopolitical stance of some countries in Southeast Asia, it’s likely that there will be less or even no such attacks in certain countries from the region in 2022. 

Yet, broadly available hosting services offered by countries like Singapore and Malaysia, data center services, and infrastructure can still be abused by the targeted ransomware gangs.

Advanced Scam and Social Engineering

One of the distinctive features of citizens of developed countries is an elevated feeling of safety. Higher expenditure on technology, including cybersecurity, generates a long-term feeling of security online. 

As a result, the general population is less exposed to traditional cyber threats – it’s just harder to find unprotected infrastructure or infect users. This is why the attackers focus on non-technology-focused attacks, exploiting human vulnerabilities, involving all sorts of scams via SMS, automated phone calls, popular messengers, social networks, etc.

The number of scam reports keeps increasing year over year, according to Singapore Police Force. In Thailand, nearly 40,000 people were scammed with their bank accounts and credit cards showing inexplicable transactions. Scammers also used fake bank websites to steal the banking details of Malaysians last year. Impersonations against top e-commerce platforms in Vietnam were also used to trick users into sending money.

More Data Breaches by Unidentified Attackers

With the decrease of targeted ransomware attacks openly exposing stolen data and taking responsibility for a breach, there will be the rise of stolen data being offered on the black markets. 

Experts from Kaspersky believe it is a symptom of severe challenges that cyber defenders face and a motivational factor and a signal for other passive cybercriminals to rush into the field of data theft and illegal trading. 

As a result, there will be more stolen databases, internal communications, and personal details stolen from various companies and traded on the black market.

Cryptocurrency and NFT Industry Attacks

By observing the cutting edge attackers with enormous human resources, such as the Lazarus group and its sub-group, BlueNoroff, Kaspersky researchers concluded that there would be an even more significant wave of attacks on cryptocurrency businesses. 

Cybercriminals will target even the growing industry of NFT (non-fungible token). This is because countries in SEA are leading in terms of NFT ownership, with the Philippines topping the list at 32%, saying they own such digital assets. 

Among the 20 countries surveyed, Thailand (26.2%) ranked second, followed closely by Malaysia (23.9%). Vietnam landed on the 5th spot (17.4%), and Singapore was 14th (6.8%).

In addition, experts from the global cybersecurity company expect that these attacks will affect the global cryptocurrency markets and the share price of individual companies, which the attackers will also monetize via stock market illegal insights trading.

To read more reports like this, check them out in Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) through this link here.