Posted on Nov. 24, 8:07 p.m.
Kaspersky researchers presented their vision of the future for advanced persistent threats (APTs), outlining how the threat landscape will change in 2022. Politicization playing an increasing role in cyberspace, the return of low-level attacks, an inflow of new APT actors, and a growth of supply chain attacks are some of the predictions outlined by the researchers.
The changes in the world in 2021 have a direct effect on the development of sophisticated attacks in the coming year. Building on trends that the Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) observed throughout 2021, the researchers have prepared a forecast to help the IT community prepare for the challenges ahead.
Private sector supporting an influx of new APT players
This year, the use of surveillance software developed by private vendors has come under the spotlight with Project Pegasus having reversed the perception of the likelihood of real-world zero-day attacks on iOS. We have also seen developers of advanced surveillance tools increasing their detection evasion and anti-analysis capabilities – as in the case of FinSpy – and using them in the wild – as was the case with the Slingshot framework.
The potential of commercial surveillance software – its access to large amounts of personal data and wider targets – makes it a lucrative business for those who supply it and an effective tool in the hands of threat actors. Therefore, Kaspersky experts believe that vendors of such software will diligently expand in cyberspace and provide their services to new advanced threat actors until governments begin to regulate its use.
Other targeted threat predictions for 2022 include:
- Mobile devices exposed to wide, sophisticated attacks. Mobile devices have always been a tidbit for attackers, with smartphones traveling along with their owners everywhere, and each potential target acting as a storage for a huge amount of valuable information. In 2021 we have seen more in-the-wild zero-day attacks on iOS than ever before. Unlike on a PC or Mac, where the user has the option of installing a security package, on iOS, such products are either curtailed or simply non-existent. This creates extraordinary opportunities for APTs.
- More supply-chain attacks. Kaspersky researchers paid particular attention to the frequency of cases in which cybercriminals exploited weaknesses in vendor security to compromise the company’s customers. Such attacks are particularly lucrative and valuable to attackers because they give access to a large number of potential targets. For this reason, supply chain attacks are expected to be on an upward trend into 2022.
- Continued exploitation of WFH. With remote work, cybercriminals will continue to use unprotected or unpatched employees’ home computers as a way to penetrate corporate networks. Social engineering to steal credentials and brute-force attacks on corporate services to gain access to weakly protected servers will continue.
- Increase in APT intrusions in the META region, especially in Africa. Geopolitical tensions in the region are increasing, which means cyber espionage is on the rise. Moreover, new defenses in the region are constantly improving and becoming more sophisticated. Taken together, these trends suggest that the main APT attacks in the META region will target Africa.
- Explosion of attacks against cloud security and outsourced services. Numerous businesses are incorporating cloud computing and software architectures based on microservices and running on third-party infrastructure, which is more susceptible to hacks. This makes more and more companies prime targets for sophisticated attacks in the coming year.
- The return of low-level attacks: bootkits are “hot” again. Owing to the increasing popularity of Secure Boot among desktop users, cybercriminals are forced to look for exploits or new vulnerabilities in this security mechanism to bypass its security system. Thus, growth in the number of bootkits is expected in 2022.
- States clarify their acceptable cyber-offense practices. There is a growing tendency for governments both to denounce cyber-attacks against them and at the same time conduct their own. Next year some countries will publish their taxonomy of cyber-offenses, distinguishing acceptable types of attack vectors.
“There are dozens of events happening every day that are changing the world of cyberspace. These changes are quite difficult to track, and even more difficult to foresee. Nevertheless, for several years now, based on the knowledge of our experts, we have been able to predict many future trends in the world of cybersecurity. We believe it is crucial to continue to track APT-related activities, evaluate the impact these targeted campaigns have, and share the insights we learn with the wider community. By sharing these predictions, we hope to help users to be better prepared for what the future holds for them in cyberspace,” 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 the 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 2020, please read our previous yearly report.
Kaspersky reports more than 340, 000 attacks with new malicious WhatsApp mod
November 20, 2023 8:52 p.m.
Kaspersky researchers recently uncovered a new malicious WhatsApp spy mod, which is now proliferating within another popular messenger, Telegram.
While the modification serves its intended purpose by extending user experience, it also clandestinely harvests personal information from its victims. With an extensive reach surpassing 340,000 in just one month, this malware predominantly targets users who communicate in Arabic and Azeri, though victims have been identified globally.
Users often turn to third-party mods for popular messaging apps to add extra features. However, some of these mods, while enhancing functionality, also come with hidden malware. Kaspersky has identified a new WhatsApp mod offering not only additions like scheduled messages and customizable options, but it also contains a malicious spyware module.
The modified WhatsApp client’s manifest file includes suspicious components (a service and a broadcast receiver) not present in the original version. The receiver initiates a service, launching the spy module when the phone is powered on or charging. Once activated, the malicious implant sends a request with device information to the attacker’s server. This data covers IMEI, phone number, country and network codes, and more. It also transmits the victim’s contacts and account details every five minutes as well as being able to set up microphone recordings and exfiltrate files from external storage.
The malicious version found its way through popular Telegram channels, predominantly targeting Arabic and Azeri speakers, with some of these channels boasting nearly two million subscribers. Kaspersky researchers alerted Telegram about the issue. Kaspersky’s telemetry identified over 340,000 attacks involving this mod in just October. This threat emerged relatively recently, becoming active in mid-August 2023.
Examples of Telegram channels distributing malicious mods
Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkey, and Egypt witnessed the highest attack rates. While the preference leans towards Arabic and Azerbaijani-speaking users, it also impacts individuals from the US, Russia, UK, Germany and beyond.
Kaspersky products detect the Trojan with the following verdict Trojan-Spy.AndroidOS.CanesSpy.
“People naturally trust apps from highly followed sources, but fraudsters exploit this trust. The spread of malicious mods through popular third-party platforms highlights the importance of using official IM clients. However, if you need some extra features not presented in the original client, you should consider employing a reputable security solution before installing third-party software, as it will protect your data from being compromised. For robust personal data protection, always download apps from official app stores or official websites,” comments Dmitry Kalinin, security expert at Kaspersky.
To stay safe, Kaspersky experts recommend:
- Use Official Marketplaces: Download apps and software from reputable and official sources. Avoid third-party app stores, as the risk that may host malicious or compromised apps is higher.
- Use reputable security software: Install and maintain reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your devices. Regularly scan your devices for potential threats and keep your security software up to date. Kaspersky Premium protects its users from known and unknown threats.
- Educate yourself about common scams: Stay informed about the latest cyber threats, techniques, and tactics. Be cautious of unsolicited requests, suspicious offers, or urgent demands for personal or financial information.
- Third-party software from popular sources often comes with zero warranty. Keep in mind that such apps can contain malicious implants, e. g. because of supply chain attacks.
Globe’s next-gen leaders delve into AI and humanity at International Design Conference
October 27, 2023 3:45 p.m.
Globe’s next generation leaders shared invaluable insights on the blend of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the human experience at the 7th International Design Conference, an event that marked the 50th anniversary of the Design Center of the Philippines.
Returning with more disruptive design concepts and an immersive environment that encouraged attendees to rethink limits, the two-day conference, held in cooperation with Globe, unveiled the evolving landscape and transformative potential of design.
Design luminaries and game-changers from the design sector and the Philippine creative economy collaborated to captivate audiences with immersive keynote presentations, provocative fireside chats, inspiring case studies, future-focused visioning, and an industry meet-up.
Globe’s Wil Sarmiento, Director and Head of Customer Lifecycle, and Paolo Toledo, Director and Head of Creatives, stood out with their forward-thinking perspectives. They joined world-renowned personalities such as award-winning design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn, program director of the Danish Design Centre Christina Melander; Sarah ichioka, founding director of Desire Lines; Dr. Anna Whicher, Policy Consultant of the “Making Design Count: The Value and Impact of Design on the Philippine Economy”; and Professor Daniela Bohlinger, Sustainability Design Pioneer.
Sarmiento, delivered a keynote that delved into the future skills in the age of human-machine collaboration, underscoring the potential of a symbiotic relationship that harnesses the strengths of both.
“Being human is the greatest design of all. While technology provides efficient solutions, it simply answers “what’s right” or “what’s needed”. BUT it’s us humans who trigger innovation and purpose. We hold the power to ask “what’s next?” and more importantly, “what for?” he said.
The International Design Conference, with its rich legacy of championing design innovation, is a thought leadership platform that celebrates the intersection of design, business, technology, and policy while thriving at the edge of disciplines to remain provocative and to use design and creativity to ask difficult questions and to take the audience to new territories.
Globe’s design leaders not only contributed to this dialogue but also illuminated the path forward, emphasizing a future where technology and human ingenuity seamlessly converge.
For more information about the International Design Conference and its key takeaways, please visit www.facebook.com/DTI.DesignCenterPH.
To learn more about Globe, go to https://www.globe.com.ph/.
LG honored with multiple awards for Innovative Product Design at IDEA 2023
September 4, 2023 3:11 p.m.
LG Electronics (LG) has once again been recognized for outstanding product design, earning 13 awards at the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2023, announced at the International Design Conference in New York, New York.
The LG PuriCare AeroTower, an air purifier that can also be used as a side table and mood lamp, was honored with a Bronze Award at yesterday’s conference. Offering personalized performance and design options, as well as a compact form factor, LG’s air purifier can be tailored to match any home interior and is ideal for smaller spaces. With its latest win, the LG PuriCare AeroTower has now been recognized by all three of the world’s top industrial design award programs: IDEA, the Red Dot Award and iF Design Award.
Another IDEA 2023 honoree, the LG OLED Flex (model LX3) is an innovative TV featuring the world’s first bendable 42-inch OLED screen. The LX3, which made its international debut at IFA last year, offers a new level of screen customizability – its self-lit display able to go from completely flat to spectacularly curved with the push of a button.
“The achievement from this year’s IDEA is the result of the synergy between customer experience-centered technology and aesthetics,” said Hwang Sung-gyul, head of the Design Management Center at LG Electronics. “We will continue to improve the level of perfection by reflecting innovative customer experiences beyond the existing framework in product design by constantly communicating and empathizing with customers.”
Organized annually by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), IDEA is one of the world’s leading design award programs, recognizing exceptional achievements in the area of industrial design while taking into consideration various factors relating to design strategy, digital interaction, the environment, and social impact, when selecting award recipients.
Life’s about more than having the latest technology, rather, it’s about the experiences technology creates that impact our lives. LG Electronics Philippines delivers consumer electronics through top-of-the-line home entertainment appliances that prepare Filipinos for their greatest moments. LG promises to bring “Innovation for a Better Life” nationwide – from Luzon, to Visayas, and Mindanao. LG products are available via lg.com/ph and through its flagship stores in Lazada and Shopee. For more information, visit and follow their social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and Youtube (@lgphilippines).