The cybercrime arms race is likely to continue apace throughout 2024, with criminals constantly improving their approaches and techniques to evade the law enforcers trying to take them down.
This means the cybercrime world is constantly evolving, and is therefore just as subject to trends and shifts as any legitimate industry.
With that in mind, let’s consider some of the developments most likely to make the news over the coming year – focusing on one of the most common cybercrime tools: ransomware.
Hackers have typically relied on a sense of urgency to make people take unwise decisions, rushing them into parting with cash or personal data. However, this may take a more sinister turn in 2024 with hackers using leaked or stolen data to personalise their attacks instead.
Armed with specific details about would-be victims, hackers can make their threats more personal by providing names, addresses or other personal details, or by deploying phishing scams that purport to come from the bank or building society an individual uses.
This all means that victims need to be extra vigilant when working out what’s a scam and what’s legitimate.
A growth in mobile ransomware
Smartphone devices have long been seen as rather impervious to attack, with their built-in security features stopping many attempts at source.
However, this may not be the case for much longer, as cybercriminals are taking to social networks to encourage people to download malicious programs dressed up as legitimate apps. In fact, mobile malware has seen a 51% increase in the past year alone, according to figures from Zimperium.
Hackers losing out
The forecasts aren’t all worrying, though, as it seems that previously solid revenue streams for cybercriminals could be drying up. Nations and organisations alike are simply refusing to pay ransoms when they come in, and are instead putting that money into building newer, better systems.
With their cashflow dwindling (and the impetus to continue with these hacks going with it) some cybercriminals may be driven out of the game altogether, turning the tide firmly in the direction of the law enforcement agencies working around the world to help close them down once and for all.