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A look at financial threats in 2022: Financial systems jeopardised, infostealers on the rise and more cryptocurrency attacks

02 December 2021 Kaspersky

In 2022, we will observe state-sponsored groups targeting the cryptocurrency industry, while cybercriminals will take advantage of investors by fabricating rogue wallet with backdoors included.

On top of that, we are likely to witness the growth of attacks against payment systems and more advanced mobile threats. These are the key predictions from Kaspersky’s ‘Cyberthreats to Financial Organisations in 2022’ report.

2021 was a year of challenge and novelty and there always are those who adapt and manage change to their advantage quickly – cybercriminals. Since most of them are motivated by money, financial threats have always been one of the most significant parts of the threat landscape. Pondering on the significant events and trends that shaped the financial threats’ sector in 2021, Kaspersky researchers have forecasted several important tendencies expected to occur in 2022. Here are their key predictions:

• Targeted cryptocurrency attacks will grow. As cryptocurrency is a digital asset and all transactions take place online, it offers anonymity to users. These are attractive features for cybercrime groups. However, it’s not only cybercriminal organisations but state-sponsored threat actors who have targeted this industry. We have already witnessed APT groups rising to attack the cryptocurrency business aggressively, and we anticipate that this activity will continue.
• Flawed security and fake hardware wallets as crypto hardware-based threats. While cryptocurrency attacks are becoming more targeted, cybercriminals keep coming up with new ways to steal investors' financial assets. In the case of cryptocurrency investment opportunities, Kaspersky researchers conclude that cybercriminals will take advantage of manufacturing and retailing rogue devices with backdoors, followed by social engineering campaigns and other techniques to steal victims' financial assets.
• Infostealers acceleration and consolidation. Simplicity, affordability, and effectiveness in attacks will play a key role in adopting infostealers against financial assets, at least as a first-stage data collector. Different threat actors will take advantage of it to profile victims for further attacks. It includes but is not limited to targeted Ransomware attacks, traditional targeted attacks, and others.
• Mobile implants development consolidation. Pandemic stimulated mobile banking, which also has become more mature. Kaspersky experts expect more mobile banking Trojans for the Android platform, especially RATs that can circumvent security means adopted by banks (such as OTP and MFA). Local, regional Android implant projects will move globally, exporting attacks to Western Europe and other countries worldwide.

"This year has been challenging for many organisations: handling remote access for ad-hoc employees, patching hard systems connected to the Internet to endure ransomware attacks, dealing with a substantial increase of mobile banking and its malware implants. And cybercriminals have not been shy of taking advantage of attacking markets. We have watched very regional cybercriminals shifting to other world regions making cybersecurity people work harder. Therefore, it is crucial to establish the principal leaning in a developing landscape of financial threats and share our expertise to help businesses become prepared, so they understand how to protect from before-mentioned threats,' says Dmitry Bestuzhev, head of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) in Latin America.

Financial predictions are part of Kaspersky’s Vertical Threat Predictions for 2022, one of the segments of the Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) – an annual series of predictions and analytical reports on key shifts in the cybersecurity world. Follow this link to look at other KSB pieces.

To review what Kaspersky experts expected to see in 2021, please follow this link.

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