Top Emerging Cybersecurity Threats and How to Prevent Them From Happening to You by@induction
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Top Emerging Cybersecurity Threats and How to Prevent Them From Happening to You

by Vision NPNovember 18th, 2022
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Hackers are adopting new ways to cheat users day by day and this process has been going on for a long time. Even small mistakes can cause hackers to access your details and files. This article, after a long study, has tried to cover the new methods used by hackers and how to stay safe from them. Mobile device vulnerabilities consist of four vulnerability vectors which are as follows:Device vulnerabilities. Network vulnerabilities are often linked with exploitable software or hardware compatibility flaw so that hackers can steal data from the affected mobile system.

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Now that the internet has become an integral part of our life, it’s become easier for nefarious forces to hack into your devices and gain unauthorized access to your personal information. Even though IT professionals are implementing new cybersecurity technology to keep consumers safe, hackers are keeping up with the pace by introducing innovative ways to continue breaking into your systems. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into some of these new methods and explore how we can keep our devices safe.

Mobile Device Vulnerabilities

The advent of the smartphone can best be credited to companies that are producing quality smartphones but at a much lower price point than previously imaginable. Add that to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in demand. For example, students had to rely on the devices to continue studying while wallet-based payment systems came into play to avoid physical contact. This means cybercriminals had the opportunity to target an even larger population with the help of mobile device vulnerabilities that fall under the following four vectors:

Device vulnerabilities:

Android and Apple OS-based devices are prone to vulnerabilities, which is why they receive regular patches. However, the issue is that not all devices get their updates on time, meaning cybercriminals can exploit an unpatched phone which is yet to receive the update.

Networks vulnerabilities:

Devices connected to open public networks are at risk of hacking from various sources. Network vulnerabilities are often linked with exploitable software or hardware compatibility flaws and hackers can steal data from the memory of the affected mobile system. Some of the notorious examples of this sort of vulnerability are:

  • BEAST (Associated with the browser exploit against SSL/TLS attack)
  • Poodle (Forces browsers to handle downgraded vulnerable versions of encryptions)
  • Security vulnerabilities in handover in which attackers can perform both DDoS and man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks using inexpensive hardware.

The process is carried out by interfering with the communication between the cell site or base station to another cell tower as shown in the following figure.

App vulnerabilities:

There are so many cracked or pirated apps that steal your funds and data. Criminals can use crypto-based fake wallets to dupe you of your earnings. In addition, open-source tools and kits can consist of bugs and vulnerabilities in their system.

Web and content vulnerabilities:

Cybercriminals have created so many malicious links for ads, media files, and other resources to exploit the targeted apps or the entire OS to achieve unauthorized access. Generally, they create an attractive design with messages like “Free iPhone”, “Free Netflix”, and “Full Access to Pro Software”, etc on their malicious web pages where users can easily fall into their traps.

Defensive Measures:

These mobile vulnerabilities are the starting points for the much deeper attack that can cause a devastating loss of money, brand reputation, sensitive data of users, and much more, so preventive measures should be carefully applied. Here are some ways to keep you safe from mobile device-based security threats:

  • Don’t download random apps from unauthorized app stores.
  • Paid mobile antivirus apps have so many life-saving features like web browser protection, anti-theft, identity theft protections, malicious app blocking, identity leakage alerts, and many more. You can install them to secure your mobile device.
  • Make your OS version up to date and keep updating the apps on the smartphone. Never keep unwanted apps that just occupy your phone space and keep draining the battery life.
  • Never click on random malicious links.

Ransomware attacks:

This is one of the most common and dangerous attacks that attackers prefer. It can affect any sort of device that supports internet connectivity like a smartphone, smart tv, laptop, etc. Ransomware attacks on the centralized platform can cause longer system downtime. In this attack, hackers first steal or encrypt data from the infected device by using phishing, social engineering, or web applications-based exploitation and then ask victims to pay ransom to regain access to their data. A recent example of this attack is the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in which the company paid (75 bitcoin or $4.4 million) within several hours of the attack to regain access to the system.

Defensive Measures:

The defense against Ransomware attacks starts with the protection of active storage in the network interface. So, it is really important to detect such attacks first to prevent financial and other losses. To be frank, the total prevention of Ransomware attacks is a very difficult task, but you can minimize the risks by using some smart techniques.

  • Keep using firewalls from good antivirus software and VPNs to keep your online activities private.
  • Enable unwanted add-blocking features in your web browsing applications. Browsers like Opera and Brave have built-in ad-blocking features.
  • Don’t click on any suspicious links received via email, adware, etc.
  • Keep backing up your important data.
  • Separate devices for business and personal use.


This is another cybercrime in which criminals use an infected device’s computing powers to mine cryptocurrencies like BTC, XMR, etc. Cryptojackers prefer this method to avoid expensive equipment setup, electricity bills, and large overheads.

Attackers can inject malicious software or scripts that are generally invisible to the victims but your device shows some signs if it is being used for cryptojacking purposes like overheating, slower performance, lower battery life, constant internet usage even though your device is not downloading or uploading any files, etc.

Unlike other malware, Cryptojacking-based malware doesn’t harm your device’s data but can steal it. Hackers cleverly hide trojans into infected software and run them in the background. The most common methods used by attackers are to trick users into clicking on malicious links to load Cryptomining code or infecting webpages with auto-executing JavaScript code. A recent example is the The Kangaroo Attack in which the hacker team TeamTNT hijacked users’ device resources. They scanned misconfigured Docker Daemon and then inserted Bitcoin miner malware scripts to use the computing power of infected devices.

Image by AquaSec: Kangaroo attack flow

Image by AquaSec: The dropped file executed on the attacked server

Defensive Measures:

Well, here are some methods that we can use to protect ourselves from Cryptojacking:

  • Use good cybersecurity software that keeps its database up to date to block malicious scripts.
  • Disable JavaScript on browsers.
  • Use miner-blocking browser extensions like Anti Miner, Miner Blocker, minerBlock, No Coin, etc.
  • Use ad-blocking software.

Social Engineering and Phishing:

In this type of crime, attackers trick others into opening malicious links with social interaction. In most cases, email impersonation is used to send emails from a fake address that appears legitimate with subjects like “Your PayPal Account is Accessed From Another Location Click on the Button Below”, “You received $100 in your bank account”, “Transaction receipt”, etc.

Defensive Measures:

  • Always check the senders' email and verify whether they are from official sources or not and never click on the options/links provided by them.
  • Antivirus or better cybersecurity software regularly updates its database to distinguish spammy stuff so, better-paid antivirus software is your lifesaver.
  • If you get payment-related emails, don’t act quickly to open the attached files, and don’t reply to them.
  • Most of the official social media accounts of the reputed brands/businesses/services have a “blue tick” to confirm they are verified, so those who send you messages first on the social media platforms from the clone accounts, just block and report against them.
  • Don’t click on pornographic content and malicious torrent sites with aggressive ads for illegal media distribution/download. They are not free, they are losing something that they have never realized before.

Fake Airdrop/Offers:

Unemployment is a global issue and unemployed people are searching for ways to make a living.

Scammers have clearly understood this and created fake Airdrop/Offers to encourage users to provide them with sensitive personal information including KYC documents and biometric data.

They also create fake offers by creating fake crypto wallets/exchange apps to steal crypto from users. In most cases, they ask users to reply to their email to detect the sender’s IP address and issue a Google form that requires logging into their Google account (They detect email, YouTube search history, etc. From the logged-in account ).

Defensive Measures:

More than 70% of so-called airdrop schemes from the so-called crypto projects are scams, so please follow the following safety measures to be safe from this emerging cybercrime.

  • Don’t provide your sensitive data and KYC documents and expect free money in the form of crypto Tokens/Coins from unauthorized parties.
  • Don’t reply to emails that look spammy because they can detect your real IP address.
  • Never participate in random airdrop schemes and offers.
  • Don’t participate in the ICO/IEO of random new crypto projects.
  • Don’t install random crypto wallets/exchange apps/browser extensions from unauthorized sources.

IoT-Based Cyber Attacks:

IoT connectivity is opening the door for hackers to new vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals are actively performing hacking attempts by interfering with IoT device connectivity to steal users’ data.

Defensive Measures:

  • Disconnect IoT devices from the internet if they are not needed.
  • Keep updating your router passwords.
  • Keep your software and firmware updated
  • Don’t purchase IoT devices from unauthorized manufacturers otherwise they could be designed to steal your data after an internet connection or they could exhibit serious system flaws.

Bottom Line:

The fact is cybercrimes are increasing. Technical literacy and awareness are essential to protect yourself from such crimes. Poor Cyber Hygiene is still a major problem in that users are still using public networks without safeguarding their online activities using VPN and using different services without enabling 2-factor authentication security layers on so many platforms. Not just this, so many platforms could have exploitable cloud vulnerabilities due to weakly handled cloud security architecture and data management systems. Even professional platforms could exhibit configuration mistakes, the user data could get misused anytime, so keep yourself up to date anytime. Any sort of platform or business should take security as the top priority because attackers are also inventing new ways to the crimes. Now, cryptocurrencies-based crimes are also increasing. Developers and IT experts have so many things to be done shortly for a better online world where everyone will feel free and safer.