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TECHNOLOGY

Majority of business execs in SEA anticipate data theft, APT, ransomware attacks  

August 3, 2022 8:04 p.m.

With the many news reports highlighting the damages of cyberattacks against businesses and countries as a whole, Kaspersky’s fresh study revealed the heightened awareness of business executives in Southeast Asia (SEA) about the sophisticated risks online.

Data theft, alongside Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks and ransomware infections, are the highest on their list of concerns.

The study titled “How business executives perceive ransomware threat” surveyed a total of 900 senior non-IT management (such as CEOs, VP, and Director level) and business owners or partners at companies with 50—1000 employees. Conducted last April, the study was done globally with 100 executives from SEA.

When asked to assess the possibility of different types of cybersecurity incidents, data theft, also known as data breach, is the threat that the respondents from SEA are most concerned about (77%).

This does not come as a surprise as news about data breaches across the region were being reported almost regularly with wide victimology from e-commerce companies, digital services provider, hotel chains, insurance and health companies, and even government agencies.

Data theft – the illegal transfer or storage of personal, confidential, or financial information – is closely followed by an APT attack (75%), and a ransomware attack (73%).

An APT attack uses continuous, clandestine, and sophisticated hacking techniques to gain access to a system and remain inside for a prolonged period of time, with potentially destructive consequences.

Because of the level of effort needed to carry out such an attack, APTs are usually leveled at high-value targets, such as nation states and large corporations, with the ultimate goal of stealing information over a long period of time.

Ransomware, as the name suggests, is malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or encrypt its data until a sum of money (a ransom) is paid.

These attacks have been carried out on individuals or corporations.

The anticipation for these three damaging attacks is higher among SEA-based business leaders as compared to the global average by more or less double-digit margins.

However, the same study revealed that while the majority of the respondents anticipate a ransomware attack, almost 7 in every 10 (65%) of them believe that “the possibility of my organization being exposed to a ransomware attack is too small to worry about”.

A majority (81%) of the surveyed non-IT executives in SEA also trust that the security measures they have in place are enough to protect them from a ransomware attempt.

“At first glance, it is good to see that the business executives here are confident about their security posture to defend their organizations against damaging online attacks such as ransomware. We should, however, be careful about not letting confidence breed complacency because the reality is a ransomware attack is not something too small for enterprises to be worried about,” comments Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

“Even though 72% of our respondents from SEA believe that ransomware attacks are being shown as a bigger threat than they actually are by the media, this type of threat is actually evolving and is transforming into a bigger menace that our security systems and IT staffs should be ready for,” adds Yeo.

Since 2020, Kaspersky experts have been warning about “Ransomware 2.0”. Almost always a “targeted ransomware”, Ransomware 2.0 refers to cybercriminal groups who moved from hostaging data to exfiltrating data coupled with blackmailing.

The aftermaths of a successful attack include significant monetary loss and damaging reputation loss.

This type of attack goes beyond kidnapping a company’s or an organization’s data. These groups are utilizing the increasingly valued digital reputation to force their prey to pay a hefty ransom.

As of 2020, at least 61 entities from the region were breached by targeted ransomware groups including companies from light industry – including the manufacturing of clothes, shoes, furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances; public service, media and Technology, heavy industry – including oil, mining, shipbuilding, steel, chemicals, machinery manufacturing; finance, and logistics.

The infamous ransomware groups Kaspersky experts closely monitor include REvil, LockBit, Conti, and more.

To help organizations protect their systems from ransomware and other sophisticated attacks, Kaspersky experts recommend the following:

  • Always keep up-to-date copies of your files so you can replace them in case they are lost (e.g. due to malware or a broken device). These should be stored not only on a physical device but also in cloud storage for greater reliability. Make sure you can quickly access your backups in the event of an emergency.
  • Keep your OS and software patched and up to date.
  • Train all employees on cybersecurity best practices while they work remotely. 
  • Only use secure technologies for remote connection.
  • Carry out a security assessment on your network.
  • Enterprise companies are recommended to use anti-APT and EDR solutions, enabling capabilities for advanced threat discovery and detection, investigation and timely remediation of incidents, as well as to have access to the latest threat intelligence. An MDR provider could help to effectively hunt any advanced ransomware attack. All of the above is available within Kaspersky Expert Security.
  • Follow the latest trends via premium threat intelligence subscriptions, like Kaspersky APT Intelligence Service.
  • Know your enemy: identify new undetected malware on premises with Kaspersky Threat Attribution Engine.
  • If you become a victim, never pay the ransom. It won’t guarantee you get your data back but will encourage criminals to continue their business. Instead, report the incident to your local law enforcement agency. Try to find a decryptor on the internet – you can find some of these available at nomoreransom.org.
  • Never follow the demands of the criminals. Do not fight alone – contact Law Enforcement, CERT, security vendors like Kaspersky.  

For companies looking to improve the expertise of their in-house digital forensics and incident response teams, as well as for IT security practitioners looking to upgrade relevant skills, Kaspersky has also expanded its online expert training portfolio

The Windows Incident Response training was developed by experts from the company’s Global Emergency Response Team (GERT) with more than 12 years’ experience in the field. 

The self-guided training course includes 40 video lessons and 100 hours of virtual lab time for hands-on learning. The estimated training duration is 15 hours, but participants will have six months of access to the platform to finish the traini

More information about the Windows Incident Response course is available via this link.

TECHNOLOGY

Infinix launches the all-new HOT 20S, the best value-for-money gaming phone yet

November 27, 2022 7:20 p.m.

Filipinos absolutely live and breathe mobile gaming, and here’s some good news: being the best mobile gamer around no longer has to break the bank.

That’s because Infinix is dropping the brand-new HOT 20S on November 27, which lets you own the competition as a top game assassin–all at an affordable price.

Now, you don’t even have to spend more than P9,000 to enjoy #MoreSmoothGameplay on the HOT 20S. The phone packs a Helio G96 Premium Gaming Processor and up to 13 GB of RAM, which powers all your favorite games and allows it to perfectly handle the toughest and latest titles. You can have a wide selection of games to download and stomp other players in thanks to its 128GB ROM storage.

You’ll also never miss a single detail in the action thanks to the HOT 20S’s 120Hz 6.78-inch Full HD+ HyperVision Gaming Pro display, which gives you bright and vivid high-resolution visuals no matter what you’re running. Your sessions can also go for as long as you want thanks to its 5000mAh Power Monster battery that fills up quickly with its 18W Power Charge.

The whole gaming experience is rounded out by the HOT 20S’s Bionic Breathing Cooling System, which keeps the phone humming and going through great heat and pressure. Meanwhile, the All-Around Gaming Network Enhancement Turbo increases its performance during playtime even further.

For those who still want to upload great-looking content on their social media accounts, the HOT 20S also packs a solid 50MP Super Nightscape Triple Camera setup, which lets you take stunning photos and videos, especially in low-light settings.

So what are you waiting for–be the best game assassin you can be without spending too much, as the Infinix HOT 20S gives you #MoreThanWhatYouPayFor, guaranteed. Get it for a suggested retail price of P8,499 from Lazada, Shopee, TikTok Shop, and official Infinix kiosks nationwide starting November 27. Get it for even less at only P7,849 exclusively on Lazada on November 28, and P7,999 in a limited-time Flash Sale on LazadaShopeeTikTok Shop starting December 1. For more info on the HOT 20S, visit the official Infinix website.

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TECHNOLOGY

JBL SOUND ALL AROUND: Pump up your sound trip with JBL’s new, exciting range of products

November 21, 2022 12:54 p.m.

Everyone is a true original. We march to the beat of our own drums, with the freedom to design our life exactly the way we want it. Goodbye to treading the “traditional,” and here’s to paving our own exciting paths. Whether you like the adrenaline of living it up in the fast lane or taking it slow and steady, cruising through life on your own terms, JBL understands that there’s no such thing as a “one-size” fits all kind of lifestyle. That’s why JBL continues to innovate and provide SOUND ALL AROUND.

JBL is the brand for all your audio needs–encompassing all aspects of sound, whatever your field. From professionals, to students, athletes, gamers, content creators, and more, every person can enjoy unique sound tailored to their own story. And in pursuit of providing only the best for each individual, JBL is introducing a new range of essentials under the gaming, sports, speakers, and True Wireless categories. 

Here, find exactly what you need that that reflects your own reality. It’s time to elevate your life and your sound trip with JBL!

Living Hands-Free

For students and professionals, you may find yourself spending countless of hours commuting or hanging out at your work/ study desk, tackling the day’s load. Allow yourself to fully focus on your task at hand or make the trip around the campus or city more enjoyable with JBL’s True Wireless Earbuds. 

The JBL Wave Beam and JBL Wave Buds are perfect if you want to bring your sound everywhere. With bass you can feel and a battery life of up to 32 hours, these ear candies deliver crystal clear sound with Smart Ambient technology that keeps you aware of your surroundings.

For the go-getting entrepreneur or professional, the JBL Tune Flex is a flex you should get. Its ergonomic and water-resistant design gives you all-day comfort for any weather. In addition, it’s designed with a simple touch feature that allows you to manage and enjoy calls anywhere, without ambient noises. Now, you can choose whether you want to tune out the world or engage with your surroundings.

Working/ studying from home? No problem. The JBL Live Free 2 and the JBL Live Pro 2 allow you to make clear, perfect calls with six beamforming mics. You can also access your preferred voice assistant for seamless, hands-free control and connection. The Live Free 2 earbuds deliver up to 35 hours of incredible JBL Signature Sound (with 7 hours in the earbuds + 28 hours in the case), speed charging, and Qi-compatible wireless charging for when your batteries need a boost. The Live Pro2 delivers the same amazing benefits with up to 40 hours of incredible JBL Signature Sound (with 10 hours in the earbuds + 30 hours in the case). Each are beautifully designed to fit your aesthetic and give you a stylishly elevated, ergonomic set. 

Born to Move

When you’re in the zone, nothing should distract you. JBL’s in-ear sports earphones keep you on track, especially if you want to be unstoppable. For athletes and other active individuals, the JBL Run 2 and the Run 2 B make for a perfect fit. 

These wireless sets will get you the motivation you need to push harder. Their FlipHookdesign adapt to an in-ear or behind-the-ear fit for convenience. In addition, the comfortable combination of FlexSoftear tips and TwistLocktechnology guarantees that they will never to hurt or fall out. Heading out into the rain or heat? Thanks to IPX5 waterproof, these wireless headphones keep up with you every step of the way. Enjoy a playback of 10 hours, an in-line microphone, and remote for hands-free control of sound and calls. 

Built to Win

Gaming is no longer just a hobby, it’s a real profession. And if you’re looking for a set that helps you stand out, then going with the JBL Quantum 810 is a must! Fully immerse in a new world ushered by the signature JBL QuantumSOUND, which makes even the tiniest audio details come in crystal clear; and JBL QuantumSURROUND, the best spatial surround sound for gaming with DTS Headphone:X version 2.0 technology.

If you’re more on-the-go, JBL Quantum TWS is for you. Play anywhere and hear everything as this innovative pair features True Adaptive Noise Cancelling technology. Lose yourself in the game and limit distractions with accurate surround sound. Easily Fast Pair with Bluetooth smartphones and establish low latency 2.4GHz connections to compatible devices with the included USB-C dongle.

Life of the Party

#YOLO Make every day and every gathering one for the books! Turn your space into a club with the JBL Boombox 3, the most powerful portable Bluetooth speaker now made even better! It’s been redesigned with a new subwoofer unleashing much deeper bass and massive JBL Original Pro Sound, all with lower distortion. Party to 24 hours of play time, hyping you up from your morning workout to the late-night rendezvous with your friends. 

For a truly unforgettable experience, grab the JBL PartyBox Encore speaker and the JBL Pulse 5. Sync the lightshow’s rockin’ strobes, ring, and club lights for an awesomely immersive experience. You can also sing along with JBL PartyBox Encore’s premium digital wireless mic, optimized for karaoke with adjustable echo, bass, and treble. Both speakers are dustproof and waterproof so take them from your backyard to the beach and beyond! 

Life is what you make it. So, enjoy every moment and dive into the perfect sound trip every day with JBL. Now, that’s a vibe. 

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TECHNOLOGY

The next WannaCry and drone hacking: Advanced persistent threats in 2023

November 16, 2022 1:14 p.m.

Kaspersky researchers presented their vision of the future for advanced persistent threats (APTs), defining the changes in the threat landscape that will emerge in 2023. Attacks on satellite technologies, mail servers, the rise of destructive attacks and leaks, drone hacking and the next big cyber epidemic are among some of the predictions for the next year.

The political turmoil of 2022 brought about a shift that will echo in cybersecurity for years to come and have a direct effect on the development of future sophisticated attacks. The 2023 forecast is based on the expertise and the activities the Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) has witnessed this year while tracking more than 900 APT groups and campaigns.

The next WannaCry and drones for proximity hacking

Statistically, some of the largest and most impactful cyber epidemics occur every six to seven years. The last such incident was the infamous WannaCry ransomware-worm, leveraging the extremely potent EternalBlue vulnerability to automatically spread to vulnerable machines. Kaspersky researchers believe the likelihood of the next WannaCry happening in 2023 is high. 

One potential reason for an event like this occurring is that the most sophisticated threat actors in the world are likely to possess at least one suitable exploit, and current global tensions greatly increase the chance a ShadowBrokers-style hack-and-leak could take place.

Major shifts will be reflected in new types of targets and attack scenarios too, as experts believe next year, we may see bold attackers and specialists adept at mixing physical-and cyber-intrusions, employing drones for proximity hacking. 

Some of the possible attack scenarios include mounting drones with sufficient tooling that would allow the collection of WPA handshakes used for offline cracking of WiFi passwords or even dropping malicious USB keys in restricted areas in the hope that a passer-by would pick them up and plug them into a machine.

Other advanced threat predictions for 2023 include:

  • SIGINT-delivered malware

One of the most potent attack vectors imaginable, which uses servers in key positions of the internet backbone allowing man-on-the-side attacks, may come back stronger next year. While these attacks are extremely hard to spot, Kaspersky researchers believe they will become more widespread and will lead to more discoveries.

  • The rise of destructive attacks

Given the current political climate, Kaspersky experts foresee a record number of disruptive and destructive cyber-attacks, affecting both the government sector and key industries. It is likely that a proportion of them will not be easily traceable to cyber incidents and will look like random accidents. The rest will take the form of pseudo-ransomware attacks or hacktivist operations to provide plausible deniability for their real authors. High-profile cyber attacks against civilian infrastructures, such as energy grids or public broadcasting, may also become targets, as well as underwater cables and fiber distribution hubs, which are challenging to defend.

  • Mail servers become priority targets

Mail servers harbor key intelligence so are of interest to APT actors and have the biggest attack surface imaginable. The market leaders of this type of software have already faced exploitation of critical vulnerabilities, and 2023 will be the year of 0days for all major email programs.

  • APT targeting turns toward satellite technologies, producers, and operators

With existing capabilities, evidence of APTs being capable of attacking satellites -with the Viasat incident as an example- it is likely that APT threat actors will increasingly turn their attention to the manipulation of, and interference with, satellite technologies in the future – making the security of these technologies ever more important.

  • Hack-and-leak is the new black (and bleak)

The new form of hybrid conflict that unrolled in 2022 involved a large number of hack-and-leak operations. These will persist in the coming year with APT actors leaking data about competing threat groups or disseminating information.

  • More APT groups will move from CobaltStrike to other alternatives

CobaltStrike, a red-teaming tool, has become a tool of choice for APT actors and cybercriminal groups alike. With it gaining so much attention from the defenders, it is likely that attackers will switch to new alternatives such as Brute Ratel C4, Silver, Manjusaka or Ninja, all offering new capabilities and more advanced evasion techniques.  

“It is quite clear 2022 saw major changes to the world’s geopolitical order and ushers in a new era of instability. A portion of our predictions focus on how this instability will translate into nefarious cyber activities, while others reflect our vision of which new attack vectors will be explored by attackers. Better preparation means better resilience and we hope our assessment of the future will enable defenders to strengthen their systems and repel cyberattacks more effectively,” says Ivan Kwiatkowski, senior security researcher at Kaspersky.

The APT predictions have been developed thanks to Kaspersky’s threat intelligence services used around the world. Read the full report on Securelist.

These predictions are a part of Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) – an annual predictions series and analytical articles on key changes in the world of cybersecurity. Click here to look at other KSB pieces.

To look back at what the Kaspersky experts expected to see in the advanced targeted threats landscape in 2022, please read our previous yearly report.

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