‘Fintech could be most threatened sector in 2020’


    CYBERSECURITY experts agree that threats and attacks on fintech are going to be the most dangerous in 2020. Financially motivated cyberthreat actors may start to target investment apps, online financial data processing systems and upcoming cryptocurrencies.

    These key predictions from Kaspersky also set how the threat landscape will look in the financial sector including getting paid access to banks’ infrastructures and developing new strains of mobile banking malware based on leaked source code. Particularly vulnerable is data protection as human intervention is the main cause of privacy breaches and violations.

    The impact of fintech cyberthreats is direct financial losses that is why it is considered lethal.

    “This year has been one of many important developments. Just as we predicted at the end of 2018, it has seen the emergence of new cybercriminal groups, like CopyPaste, new geography of attacks by Silence group, cybercriminals shifting their focus onto data that helps to bypass antifraud systems in their attacks. Behavioral and biometrics data is on sale on the underground market. Additionally, we expected JS-skimmer base attacks to increase and they did,” Yury Namestnikov, a security researcher at Kaspersky explained.

    2019 saw significant attacks on consumer-prompted developments. Fintech attackers operated side-by-side against banking and payment platforms. Kaspersky researchers have determined the following as the main financial threats to watch for:

    1) The rise of new mobile banking Trojans. Research and monitoring of underground forums suggests that the source codes of some popular mobile banking Trojans were actually leaked into the public domain. Previous similar cases of malware source code leakage (e.g. Zeus, SpyEye) resulted in an increased number of new variations of these Trojans. In 2020 this pattern may repeat.

    2) Paid access to banking infrastructure and ransomware attacks against banks. In 2020, Kaspersky experts expect an increase in the activity of groups specialized in criminal-to-criminal sale of network access to banks in the African and Asian regions, as well as in Eastern Europe.

    Their prime targets are small banks, as well as financial organizations recently bought by big players who are rebuilding their cybersecurity system in accordance with the standards of their parent companies. Besides it is expected that the same banks may become victims of targeted ransomware attacks, as banks are among those organizations that are more likely to pay a ransom than accept the loss of data.

    3) Magecarting 3.0. More cybercriminal groups will target online payment processing systems. Over the past couple of years, so-called JS-skimming (the method of stealing of payment card data from online stores) has gained immense popularity among attackers.

    Kaspersky researchers are currently aware of at least 10 different actors involved in these type of attacks and experts believe that their number will continue to grow during the next year. The most dangerous attacks will be on companies that provide services such as e-commerce as-a-service, which will lead to the compromise of thousands of companies.

    “With 2020 on the horizon, we recommend security teams in potentially affected areas of the finance industry to gear up for new challenges. There is nothing inevitable in potential upcoming threats, it is just important to be properly prepared for them,” Yury concludes.