1(630)802-8605 Ravi.das@bn-inc.net

Ok, we all know that the Cyberthreat Landscape is changing every day.  If not a daily basis, then it would seem like that it is happening every few minutes, and even on a minute by minute basis.  The primary reason why this frequency is so high is that Cyberattacks can be launched virtually anywhere from the world, at any given moment. 

With a planet of that is inhabited by well over 6 billion people, who is to say is a Cyberattacker and not?

But, apart from this, there is another new trend coming out, which will further proliferate itself in 2020:  Variants of the old fashioned Cyberattacks will come out in even more.  A perfect example of this is Phishing. 

This kind of Cyberattack came out in the late 1990s, and its first public attack was on AOL.  Today, there are many variants of it, which includes the likes of Ransomware and Business Email Compromise (aka “BEC”).

So, here are the new variants that are in existence today, of which you need to be aware of:

*The Malboard Attack:

This is actually a super sophisticated and much more covert version of the traditional Keylogging attack.  There are many keyboard devices that can be affected by this, which include those of Microsoft, Lenovo, and Dell.

*Warshipping:

This is a much newer form of the traditional Cyberattacks such as those of Wardialing and Wardriving.  Although the last two more or less mean the same thing, there are some subtle differences:

Wardialing is defined as follows:

“War Dialing occurs when an attacker systematically calls a sequence of phone numbers in order to find an inadequately protected system on a modem.”

Wardriving can be defined as follows:

“[This] is used to designate attackers who wander through areas searching for wireless capabilities.  This wandering is often based on an attacker actually driving around searching for vulnerable wireless connections.”

(SOURCE:  http://www.zaielacademic.net/security/war_dialing.htm).

The first is an old-fashioned kind of Cyberattack that deals with using dial up technology, the latter is a more recent version, that taps into the holes and vulnerabilities of wireless networks, including those of earlier versions of 3G.  Warhshipping deals more with the 4G wireless network.

*The Spearphone Attack:

This is almost a brand-new kind of Cyberattack in which the hacker can covertly eavesdrop on the phone conversation of an unsuspecting victim.  It is the Android based devices that are much more prone to this than the iOS-based devices.  For example, this kind of attack has already made its way on the LG G3, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and the Samsung Galaxy S6.

*The CTRL-ALT-LED Attack:

Yea, you read this correctly.  This is not the keystroke sequence to do a hard reboot on your computer.  Although this kind of Cyberattack has not made its way yet into the public domain, it has made its presence very well known in a Sandbox like environment, so thus, if it has made it this far, it can potentially have wide reaching implications.  Believe it or not, researchers have discovered that by using this specific keystroke sequence, a Cyberattacker could very easily capture confidential information and data from either sensor and/or camera of your Smartphone.  This also includes other types of wireless devices that makes use of a camera, such as the Smartwatch.  So, in this regard, be especially vigilant when using the TouchID and FaceID Biometric capabilities on the latest versions of the iPhone.

*The Minerva Attack:

This type of Cyberattack deals more with covert hacks into a Public Key Infrastructure (aka “PKI”) that makes use of both Public and Private Keys for encryption and decryption purposes, respectively.  This hack can take advantage of an unknown data leak in the PKI and be used to heist the private keys.  More details on this new brand of Cyberattack can be seen here at this link:

https://cyware.com/news/new-minerva-attack-can-recover-private-keys-from-cryptographic-libraries-81307952

*The PDFex Attack:

We all have created, sent, and used to some degree or another PDF based files.  Although this new kind of Cyberattack is still considered to be the Sandbox environment, it too has the huge potential to be a real-world threat variant.  In this particular instance, encrypted information and data can be potentially hijacked from secure PDF files.  Cybersecurity researchers have tested this new variant in 27 different PDF viewers, which are both based locally and even virtually.  The PDF viewer packages that are most at risk include the following:   Adobe Acrobat, Foxit Reader, Evince, Nitro, and the  built-in PDF viewers that are available in the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.

*The WIBattack:

This kind of Cyberattack is actually a new variant of the “Simjacking Attack”.  You might be wondering what this is?  Well, it can be defined as follows:

“These attacks allow hackers to take over a person’s cell phone number and usually their digital life along with it. Threat actors typically start by social engineering their way into getting an employee at a cell phone carrier company to port over a phone number to another SIM card. Essentially, they bribe these employees with cryptocurrency or PayPal transfers to have them swap cell service from a victim’s device’s SIM card over to a SIM card in the attacker’s possession. From there, they can take over their victims’ email, social media and event financial accounts, extorting cryptocurrency for returned control.”

(SOURCE:  https://www.secplicity.org/2018/10/17/everything-your-need-to-know-about-sim-jacking/)

The basic premise of this Cyberattack is that a hacker can gain control of an unsuspecting victim’s SIM Card, and covertly transferring that information and data onto a hijacked SIM that is already in their possession.  But the key thing is that it takes an authorized employee from a wireless carrier to do this task, and this is where the Cyberattacker makes use of Social Engineering in order to trick them to make this SIM Card transfer.

But with this new variant, the Cyberattacker really does not need the SIM Card anymore, all of the Smartphone manipulation that is required can take place from the web browser that is embedded into the Android or iOS Operating Systems.  But in order to carry this out, the Cyberattacker does need some new tools, which are known as the “OTA SMS” and the “SIM Toolkit”.

My Thoughts On This:

Well, there you have it, the top new Cyberattack variants that you need to be aware of.  How do you protect yourself?  It all comes down to this: 

*Always keep your wireless devices (especially your Smartphones) updated with the latest software patches;

*Always back up your data using some sort of Cloud backup system (such as Dropbox, the iCloud, etc.);

*Be proactive.  Don’t click on links or attachments that seem suspicious;

*Above all, trust your gut. If something does not feel right, avoid the situation or the environment in its entirety.