The new year comes with a new bunch of opportunities for businesses embarking on a digital transformation journey. However, the threat vector is broadened with cybercriminals exploring new ways to exploit businesses and customer information.
Cybercriminals are resourceful and innovative creatures who constantly develop new ways to exploit businesses and customer information to reap their benefits. While every organization is aware of the potential threats, they are equally unaware of the uncommon attacks that could severely impact their overall cybersecurity posture.
Cybercriminals' recent modus operandi changes constantly, and simply being aware is not enough. Investigations of past cyberattacks reveal that individual users are often responsible for letting attacks succeed due to either misconfiguration of a computer or mobile device or carelessness.
Alok Patidar, Director of Information Security at LoginRadius, shares his valuable insights into the most uncommon cyberattacks that need immediate attention in 2023. Let’s have a look.
#1. Zero-Day Exploit
A Zero-Day Exploit is a security vulnerability that the vendor has not patched. In other words, there is no solution for this vulnerability in most cases. This means that attackers can use this vulnerability to their advantage, and they can use it to target users who have not been informed about the exposure.
Organizations can prevent zero-day exploits by incorporating CPU-level inspections, malware-DNA analysis, robust identity management, and threat intelligence platforms.
#2. Watering Hole Attack
Watering hole attacks are targeted attacks where the victims are typically a group of organizations, regions, or communities.
Cybercriminals usually attack websites frequently used by the targetted group and are identified by close monitoring. And once identified, these websites are infected with malware, which further infects the target group members’ systems.
Watering hole attacks can be prevented by raising awareness, keeping systems up-to-date, using a VPN, and getting a security audit from security experts.
#3. Cloud Jacking
Cloud jacking is a form of hacking that enables cybercriminals to inject malicious code into a legitimate website's HTML code and then use this site as part of their phishing scam or malware distribution campaign.
The phishing scheme can be anything from an email, SMS message, or landing page that asks for personal information such as name, address, phone number, etc., or it might even contain malicious software like ransomware which locks your computer until you pay up!
Cloud jacking can be prevented by establishing cloud governance policies, securing a data backup plan, and leveraging encryption.
#4. The threat to IoT Devices
The Internet of Things is a growing industry; several intelligent, interconnected devices surround us. However, this technology is now considered the most vulnerable to cyber threats.
IoT networks are mainly vulnerable to spoofing, denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), and phishing. And these kinds of attacks can be avoided by leveraging various network security measures, including encryption, identity management, robust authentication, and authorization.
Deepfakes are a new form of digital manipulation that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create fabricated images and videos of people. These deepfakes have become increasingly sophisticated in the past few years, making it difficult for experts to distinguish between fake and real.
Deep Fakes pose a severe threat to society, as they can be used to create fake news or manipulate public opinion. For businesses, employees will have trouble distinguishing between real and fake information when making critical decisions about their work.
#6. Application Programming Interface (API) Vulnerabilities and Breaches
The security of application programming interface (API) channels is a significant concern for organizations today. While internal web app security is more robust, API security readiness usually lags. Several vulnerabilities include weak authentication, misconfiguration, and broken object-level authorization.
Even with these flaws, it is still time for organizations to address their API security gaps. Several steps can be taken to strengthen API defenses, including:
- Ensuring that all APIs are encrypted before being made publicly available.
- Deploying intrusion prevention systems (IPS) or intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor incoming traffic.
- Implementing periodic vulnerability scanning tests to identify weaknesses before malicious actors can exploit them.
#7. 5G-to-Wi-Fi Security Vulnerabilities
5G is swiftly rolling out across various public areas, including shopping malls, airports, and restaurants. And a user’s voice or data information on their cellular phone gets communicated through a Wi-Fi access point. And this means that a user’s smartphone is always looking for the strongest signal for using data transfer and calling.
The problem with this new setup is that when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network in these venues, you're sending all of your data through an unencrypted connection that could be intercepted by anyone else who's connected to it—and there may be dozens or hundreds of people logged into it at any given time!
In a Nutshell
Cyberattacks are inevitable. As business teams continue to invest in securing their networks and employees, they must also prioritize uncommon attacks or zero-day cyber threats.
While organizations need to be wary of both, they should also gear up for complex commodity watering hole attacks and dark web compromises. These are some of the uncommon cyberattacks that all companies should keep an eye out for, especially in a digital transformation environment.