‘Ransomware attacks to morph into 2-stage extortion campaigns’

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Ransomware attacks are set to morph into two-stage extortion campaigns and criminals will exploit their extortion victims even more in 2020, cyber security company McAfee said on Thursday.

According to McAfee’s “Advanced Threat Research (ATR)”, the rise of targeted ransomware has created a growing demand for compromised corporate networks. This demand is met by criminals who specialise in penetrating corporate networks and sell complete network access in one go.

“For 2020, we predict the targeted penetration of corporate networks will continue to grow and ultimately give way to two-stage extortion attacks.

“In the first stage, cybercriminals will deliver a crippling ransomware attack, extorting victims to get their files back. In the second stage, criminals will target the recovering ransomware victims again with an extortion attack but this time they will threaten to disclose the sensitive data stolen before the ransomware attack,” McAfee said in a statement.

A very viable threat vector will emerge and adversaries will begin to generate deepfakes to bypass facial recognition, the cyber security firm predicted.

It will be critical for businesses to understand the security risks presented by facial recognition and other biometric systems and invest in educating themselves of the risks as well as hardening critical systems.

Container-based Cloud deployments are growing in popularity due to the ease with which DevOps teams can continuously roll out micro-services and interacting, reusable components as applications.

As a result, the number of organisations prioritising the adoption of container technologies will continue to increase in 2020.

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