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Kaspersky’s Projections for 2024’s Advanced Threats Landscape

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Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) experts offer insights and projections for 2024 in the Kaspersky Security Bulletin, with a focus on the evolution of Advanced Persistent Threats (APT).

Kaspersky researchers predict APT actors will introduce new exploits on mobile, wearables, and smart devices and use them to form botnets, refine supply chain attack methods, and utilise AI for more effective spear-phishing. These advancements are anticipated to intensify politically motivated attacks and cybercrime.

AI-powered impersonation, the rise of creative exploits for mobile, and new botnets

Emerging AI tools will streamline spear-phishing message production, even enabling the mimicry of specific individuals. Attackers may devise creative automation methods by gathering online data and feeding it to LLMs to craft letters in the style of a person connected to the victim.

“Operation Triangulation” marks a groundbreaking year for mobile exploits, potentially inspiring more research into APTs attacking mobile, wearables, and smart devices. We will likely witness threat actors broadening their surveillance efforts, targeting various consumer devices through vulnerabilities and “silent” exploit delivery methods, including zero-click attacks through messengers, one-click attacks via SMS or messaging apps, and network traffic interception. Protection of personal and corporate devices has become increasingly vital.

The exploitation of vulnerabilities in commonly used software and appliances is yet another point where we should be vigilant. The discovery of high and critical severity vulnerabilities sometimes receives limited research and delayed fixes, potentially paving the way for new, large-scale, and stealthy botnets capable of targeted attacks.

Growth in cyberattacks by state-sponsored actors and hacktivism as a new normal

State-sponsored cyberattack numbers also have the potential to surge in the year ahead, amid increasing geopolitical tensions. These attacks will likely threaten data theft or encryption, IT infrastructure destruction, long-term espionage, and cyber-sabotage.

Another notable trend is hacktivism, which has become more common as part of geopolitical conflicts. Geopolitical tensions indicate a likely increase in hacktivist activity, both destructive and aimed at spreading false information, leading to unnecessary investigations and subsequent alert fatigue of SOC analysts and cybersecurity researchers.  

Other advanced threat predictions for 2024 include:

  • Supply chain attacks as a service: operators’ bulk-buying access

Supply chain attacks targeting smaller firms to breach major ones: the Okta breaches in 2022-2023  highlight the threat’s scale. Motives of such attacks may range from financial gain to espionage. 2024 might witness new developments in dark web access market activities related to supply chains, enabling more efficient and large-scale attacks.

  • Emergence of more groups offering hack-for-hire services

Hack-for-hire groups are on the rise, providing data theft services to clients ranging from private investigators to business rivals. This trend is expected to grow in the coming year.

  • Kernel rootkits are hot again

Despite modern security measures like Kernel Mode Code Signing, PatchGuard, HVCI (Hypervisor-Protected Code Integrity), kernel-level code execution barriers are being bypassed by APTs and cybercrime groups. Windows kernel attacks are on the rise, enabled by WHCP abuses, and the underground market for EV certificates and stolen code signing certificates is growing. Threat actors are increasingly leveraging BYOVD (Bring Your Own Vulnerable Driver) in their tactics.

  • Managed File Transfer (MFT) systems used for advanced attacks

Managed File Transfer (MFT) systems face escalating cyber threats, exemplified by 2023 breaches of MOVEit and GoAnywhere. This trend is poised to escalate, with cyber adversaries eyeing financial gains and operational disruptions.

The intricate MFT architecture, integrated into broader networks, harbors security weaknesses. Organisations should implement robust cybersecurity measures, including Data Loss Prevention and encryption, and foster cybersecurity awareness to fortify MFT systems against evolving threats.

“In 2023, the notable surge in the availability of AI tools didn’t elude the attention of advanced malicious actors engaged in extensive and highly sophisticated campaigns.

“However, we anticipate that upcoming trends go beyond AI implications, including new methods for conducting supply chain attacks, the emergence of hack-for-hire services, novel exploits for consumer devices, and more.

“Our goal is to provide defenders with advanced threat intelligence that stays ahead of the latest threat developments, enhancing their capacity to fend off cyberattacks more effectively”, says  Igor Kuznetsov, Director, Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky.


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Cybersecurity Firm Uncovers Scams Targeting Olympic Games Fans

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The first in-person Summer Olympics since the lifting of pandemic restrictions is set to begin on July 26, attracting millions of sports enthusiasts.

Kaspersky experts have noted a surge in scamming activity surrounding the event, with fraudsters targeting users’ money and data.

To understand how scammers are exploiting viewers’ interest, Kaspersky experts analysed Olympic-related phishing websites and identified the main schemes currently in use.

Fake Tickets

With the Olympic Committee warning of fake ticket offers and news of a UK swimmer’s family being scammed out of £2,500 while attempting to purchase tickets for the Paris Olympics, Kaspersky’s telemetry confirms that fraudsters are actively crafting phishing websites.

These sites offer tickets for Olympic competitions at exclusive prices or claim to have seats for sold-out events. This well-tested yet effective fraudulent scheme has resurfaced during many Olympic seasons, and Kaspersky’s experts expect such websites to proliferate during Paris 2024 events.

In this scenario, users fill out a data form and transfer both their personal information and money to scammers. As a result, they may receive invalid tickets or, more likely, nothing at all, leading to financial loss and their data being sold on Dark Web forums.

Fake Corporate Giveaways

Many organisations host giveaways for their employees, partners, and customers during major events. Recently, Kaspersky experts uncovered a fraudulent page impersonating a French bank, falsely promising a chance to win event tickets.

Employees are enticed to fill out a form with personal details, including their Internet account login credentials and passwords. This allows fraudsters to infiltrate victims’ corporate resources and potentially spread malicious content further.

Fake Merch Stores

Kaspersky experts have also discovered fraudulent online stores selling merchandise such as shirts, uniforms, accessories, and more. Needless to say, those who were enticed by these offers never received the items they ordered.

Special Cell Phone Plans

Fraudsters have set up phishing websites offering a free 48 GB data package for all networks. These sites entice users to provide personal information, such as phone numbers and payment details, under the guise of activating the data package.

Once submitted, this information is harvested for malicious purposes, leading to potential financial loss and privacy breaches.

“During major events like the Olympics, the sheer volume of offers can be overwhelming and deceptive,” says Anton Yatsenko, security expert at Kaspersky. “Scammers prey on the excitement and urgency people feel, making it crucial to approach every offer with a healthy dose of scepticism.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to verify the authenticity of offers and protect your personal information. Your vigilance can be the difference between enjoying the event and falling victim to a scam.”


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Nigeria inflation rate hits 34.19%

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Nigeria’s annual inflation rate increased for the fifth consecutive month to 34.19 per cent as Nigerians battle with high living crisis.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), released on Monday, the June figure is 0.24 per cent higher than the 33.95 per cent recorded in May. The lowest figure in 2024 was 29.90 per cent, recorded in January.

On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.40 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79 per cent.

“This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023),” the NBS said.

NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31 per cent, which was 0.17 per cent higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14 per cent) meaning that in the month of June 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is higher than the rate of increase in the average price level in May 2024.

According to the NBS, the food inflation rate in June 2024 rose 40.87 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.62 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023 (25.25 per cent).


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Konga, CeraVe Ink MoU for Exclusive Launch of L’Oreal Product in Nigeria

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At long last, relief is here for the skincare enthusiasts in Nigeria! Konga Health, Nigeria’s premier digital healthcare distribution company, has sealed an exclusive partnership with CeraVe, a leading global skincare brand under the L’Oréal umbrella, to launch its product in the country. L’Oréal is the world leader in beauty: makeup, cosmetics, haircare and perfume in terms of quality, efficacy and safety.

Konga Health

Through Konga Health, a technology-driven healthcare solutions company focused on revolutionizing the healthcare value chain and a member of the Konga Group, this exclusive collaboration will debut with the renowned CeraVe line, offering unbeatable prices and free delivery to some locations Nationwide.

This enhanced partnership empowers Konga Health to onboard pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare providers Nationwide to support the distribution of CeraVe’s product line. This initiative includes opportunities for recruitment, partnerships, and collaboration to ensure that high-quality skincare solutions are accessible to all nationwide.

This strategic alliance ensures that genuine CeraVe products reach Nigerian consumers swiftly and conveniently, leveraging Konga’s extensive e-commerce infrastructure. Concerns about counterfeit items that often plague the beauty and skincare market are now a thing of the past, as Konga becomes CeraVe’s official distributor in Nigeria.

CeraVe now boasts a dedicated official shop-in-shop (SIS) on Konga.com, serving as a one-stop destination for all authentic CeraVe products. Shoppers can directly access top-tier skincare solutions identical to those available globally.

Starting Monday, July 15th, CeraVe’s flagship products, such as the Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser, Foaming Cleanser, SA Smoothing Cleanser, Fragrance-Free Moisturizer with 3 Essential Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid, Barrier-Reinforcing Moisturizing Cream, Night Cream with Niacinamide, Exfoliating Salicylic Acid Foot Cream, Retinol Serum, Eye Repair Cream, Facial Moisturizers, Hyaluronic, and Vitamin C Serums, will be readily available on the Konga Health and Konga.com platforms, offering customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience.

Nnenna Emenyonu, Senior Vice President of Konga Health, expressed her excitement about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with CeraVe, a brand synonymous with quality and scientific excellence in skincare. This collaboration allows our customers access to top-tier skincare products that are dermatologically tested and proven effective.”

Rabah Deroueche, LID LDB SSA and Business Development Director at L’Oreal, shared similar sentiments, noting, “Our partnership with Konga marks a significant milestone for CeraVe in Nigeria. By leveraging our commitment to quality skincare products and Konga’s platform, CeraVe can reach a wider audience and address the skincare needs of Nigerian consumers. This collaboration ensures Nigerian consumers can easily access our products and experience the benefits of our dermatologist-developed formulations.”

CeraVe has earned its stellar reputation globally through scientifically backed formulations. Developed in close collaboration with dermatologists, CeraVe products meet the highest standards of skincare and are celebrated for using essential ingredients that ensure optimal skin health.

The partnership between Konga and L’Oreal establishes Konga’s standing as a trusted e-commerce platform offering only high-quality products. As the official distributor of CeraVe, Konga is dedicated to maintaining the brand’s integrity by providing shoppers with authentic products that meet their skincare needs.


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