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.
Upgrade your entertainment experience at Great Samsung TV Sale
July 5, 2022 7:03 p.m.
Samsung’s biggest sale of the year is just around the corner, with up to 40% off on TV and Sound Device products.
Dubbed the Great Samsung TV Sale, the yearly event kicks off from July 11 to September 30, and will highlight an array of devices such as the 98” Neo QLED, the 55” Crystal UHD TV, and the Q-Soundbars with Dolby ATMOS.
Top-tier TV experience
Samsung has earned the Global #1 spot in the market for the past 16 years for its exceptional TV features upgrading one’s home entertainment experience.
The Crystal UHD TVs boasts an outstanding 4K picture quality in a sleek AirSlim Design frame.
It has a powerful 4K upscaling which ensures you get up to 4K resolution for the content you love.
The TV has smart features including built-in apps so you enjoy movies and shows from your favorite apps and Tap View to easily mirror your phone* to your TV with just a tap.
The 98” Neo QLED QN90A not only takes your viewing experience to the next level, but enhances your gaming experience, too.
Optimize your gameplay in real-time thanks to the built-in Game Bar, an on-screen menu that gives you easy access to screen ratio, input lag, connected device settings, and more.
With the TVs QLED Technology, you get no burn-in or image retention to and 100% color volume for a billion shades of color to ensure the best quality of display.
Plus with its massive 98” screen size enhanced with Samsung’s Quantum Mini LED Technology, which delivers exceptional blacks, next-level detail and superior brightness and contrast, so you never miss a beat in your next gaming session.
Complete your home entertainment system with the Q-Soundbar this Great Samsung TV Sale.
Built with Dolby Atmos technology, you get to experience 3D sound moving all around just like when you are inside a cinema. Samsung’s Q-Soundbars also come equipped with the Q-Symphony feature, letting you enjoy true immersive sound with audio playing from both a Samsung TV and Soundbar speakers.
So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars and get the best offers on the latest TV and Soundbar offerings from the Great Samsung TV Sale!
Visit www.samsung.com/ph for more details.
5G in PH rising, says connectivity insights provider Ookla
Fifth generation (5G) mobile networks are making significant advances in the Philippines, according to the global leader in network intelligence and connectivity insights provider, Ookla.
Most Philippine operators, according to a report by Ookla, launched 5G mobile networks in 2020 shortly after Thai operators did.
Smart, one of the major Philippine telecommunications service providers, launched 5G technology in June 2019 for fixed wireless units and launched the same for mobile subscribers in February 2020 in Metro Manila.
Globe, another major service provider in the Philippines launched 5G in July 2020, originally targeting subscribers in Metro Manila who had 5G-capable devices.
Both operators used spectrum in the 3,500 megahertz band, which is considered as the “sweet spot” in terms of 5G network capacity and coverage.
Ookla data showed that Smart recorded a median download speed of 200.43 mbps and 19.67 mbps upload speed in the first quarter of 2022. These were way ahead of Globe which registered median download speeds of 121.29 mbps and upload speeds of 9.93 mbps.
Availability of 5G nationwide, Ookla said, nearly doubled in just one year—from 9.4 percent coverage in the first quarter of 2021 to 18.1 percent in the first quarter of 2022.
“Part of this is related to the easing of right-of-way (ROW) rules,” said Ookla.
New ROW rules, enforced by the Department of Public Works and Highways in March 2021, lifted the ban on construction of critical infrastructure, particularly cell sites, along national roads.
Another reason for improvements in both 4G and 5G developments was the active involvement of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in allowing more telcos to enter the playing field.
“A third player was introduced to the market to add competition, improve network performance and reduce prices in the market,” said Ookla in its report.
The way was paved for the entry of the third player by the NTC and Department of Information and Communications Technology which declared Dito (then Mislatel) as the new major telco player.
According to Ookla, the Philippines was not the only country to benefit from ROW reforms. India made the same move in October 2021, or eight months after the Philippines did.
In the Philippines, Smart reached 25.5 percent 5G coverage in the first quarter of 2022 Globe reached 15.3 percent coverage. Ookla attributed this to “spectrum deployment strategies” of each company.
Smart had 1.6 million connected 5G devices to its network in the first quarter of 2022, or more than triple its level—376,000—in the first quarter of 2021. Globe, by end of March 2022, had more than 2 million devices connected to 5G.
Ookla noted that plans of both telcos to further invest in 5G bodes well for the spread of the technology, which delivers faster connection to the internet.
Smart is investing up to P85 billion in 5G rollout nationwide which started in December 2021. Smart’s mobile data traffic grew 30 percent year-on-year to 1,010 petabytes while the number of 5G base stations rose to 7,300 in February 2022 from just 5,000 in 2020, corresponding to a 5G population of 66 percent.
Globe added 390 sites in just the first three months of 2022, extending 5G network reach to 95 percent of the National Capital Region and 85 percent of key cities in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Globe spent at least P92.8 billion to build 2,000 outdoor 5G sites and in-building solutions, 1,407 new cell sites and 1.4 million fiber lines.
Dito, the third Philippine telco, has partnered with hardware supplier Nokia to deploy 5G services in Mindanao in May 2021. In March 2022, this telco rolled out 5G home wi-fi services with 145 Metro Manila villages as pilot areas.
Villages in the cities of Manila, Caloocan and Quezon would be the first to benefit from 500 mbps of download speeds. Tests involving 5G in Caloocan showed download speeds of 512.66 mbps in the first quarter of this year.
Infinit Care powers mental health in workplace with technology
June 28, 2022 8:12 p.m.
Members of the media were gathered last June 24, to talk about workplace mental health and how Infinit Care is pioneering a tech-based solution that allows companies to support the mental wellbeing of employees.
Workplace Mental Health
Mental health issues are on the rise, especially among the working population and it’s severely affecting overall health and productivity.
The World Health Organization found that mental illness is prevalent in the Philippines. In fact, it is the third most common disability in the country. The National Center for Mental Health also recorded a 500% increase in monthly hotline calls due to depression during the pandemic.
Companies have tried to answer this plight by providing mental health support whether in-house or through a 3rd party provider.
However, a lot of the options in the market focus on delivering solutions that cater to those who are already in crisis and leave out a significant part of the population.
Studies also show that despite increases in stress and burnout, utilization for mental health benefits remain low due to the lack of access to proper mental health solutions and the persistent stigma around talking about mental health struggles.
A Pioneer in Mental Health Tech
Infinit Care partners with businesses and organizations to provide their employees and community with comprehensive mental health support.
“Our platform of care solutions are founded on The Mental Health Continuum which takes into account a wide range of mental health states so that every employee can receive customized support, no matter what they’re going through, wherever and however they need it,” explained Infinit Care Marketing Head, Paola Silva.
“Everyone needs different kinds of care at different times. We work with companies who care deeply about the mental wellbeing of their employees and understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. We help companies bring the best out of their people by providing personalized mental health support.” said Infinit Care’s Head of Clinical Care, Shyne Mangulabnan.
Infinit Care is the only provider in the Philippines that can provide multi-channel mental health support.
Available via web and mobile app (iOS and Android), Infinit Care can meet the varying needs of all employees.
Our suite of solutions include 24/7 chat support with real live Care Chat Coaches who commit to an average response time of 5 minutes, a team of qualified licensed counselors and coaches available for virtual counseling or coaching at your convenience, a library of mental health tools and content to meet the varying needs of your workforce, and mental health training and capacity building workshops for the leaders and entire organization.
For more information on Infinit Care, visit https://www.infinitcare.co