Regarding cybersecurity, the third decade of the twenty-first century is challenging. It began with Microsoft exposing over 250 million confidential user data online. The data leak gloomily preceded Microsoft’s relation to the Solarwind hack, which potential damages are impossible to overstate.
Simultaneously, there’s been a cyberattack increase against home computer networks. The shift to WFH policies opened more opportunities for cybercriminals. For example, they began targeting unsecured home networks expecting entrance to the corporate servers. What’s more, hackers exploited the Covid-19 crisis to improve Phishing campaigns.
The cybersecurity industry is answering. There are sophisticated solutions to the most widespread cyber attacks. This article overviews the most popular hacking methods in 2022 and what you can do to protect yourself.
Password management is an ongoing issue. Unfortunately, it’s been made worse with a few new hacking techniques. For example, keyloggers became more popular, often delivered via Phishing emails. Keyloggers monitor each keyboard interaction, gathering data. They store usernames and passwords for further exploitation.
Another critical issue is password management habits. The number of Apps we use increased several times during the last decade. Most of them require password protection. Often people turn to the easiest solution – “password123” or “qwerty123456” for all accounts! It’s an unsafe practice. Not only are these passwords easy to guess, but they are also susceptible to brute-force and credential-stuffing attacks.
Cybercriminals use automatization software to target thousands of different accounts simultaneously. Moreover, they obtain previous data leak information to improve the success rate. What can be done?
The most straightforward and effective solution is a password manager. It will generate long, unique, complex passwords and store them in an encrypted vault. It will also autofill them on websites, nullifying keylogger risks. Because of password complexity, brute force is not an option.
Lastly, because you will use different passwords for every account, you don’t have to worry about credential stuffing.
Phishing & Social Engineering
This is where things take two steps backward. Phishing is an old hacking method that exploits human error. Frequently it’s done via email, but it could happen via SMS, online chats, and even video game lobbies. Two significant factors made Phishing attacks more dangerous.
Firstly, hackers successfully exploited the Covid-19 crisis. They included the pandemic chaos in their Phishing schemes. Naturally, people are more likely to open an email when it relates to their health. Criminals sent fraudulent emails claiming to be healthcare representatives or to offer some kind of support to victims.
Second, the use of social media negatively affected social engineering campaigns. It’s no secret that many people overshare on social media. Due to frequent social media data leaks, tons of personally identifiable information (PII) was exposed to third parties. Criminals use this data to improve their social engineering and Phishing campaigns, legitimizing the content with actual facts.
The first line of defense against Phishing and social engineering is knowledge and awareness. Be extremely mindful about clicking on any link or opening an attachment. Do not rush into doing anything if you sense urgency. Phishing emails are crafted to force people into action without thinking. Investing in reliable Anti-Virus software that provides email and malware protection would be advantageous.
People often postpone or overlook software updates. To stay safe online, you should always apply updates as soon as possible. Companies that notice vulnerabilities in their services will issue quick hotfixes to patch them up. What’s more, early in 2022, the U.S. cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency stressed the importance of updating software due to rising threats from Russia.
Hackers look for unpatched devices once the vulnerabilities have been fixed. If you run an outdated version that has the named vulnerability, there’s a high chance they will target you. Remember, it’s essential to keep all software updated. Updating only Anti-Virus is not enough. Each software running on your device can become a target. And if it’s not secured on time, it can open the doors to a piece of more critical information.
These are the most popular ways to hack into a person’s device in 2022. We should shortly mention other threats, such as public Wi-Fi hacking, Fake WAP attacks, and DDoS attacks. Consider using a VPN if you frequent Wi-Fi hotspots, and be cautious about what network you’re connecting to. Most importantly, keep yourself updated on the latest cyber threats. Knowledge becomes intuition, and, sooner or later, you’ll be able to separate Phishing links from authentic redirects and prevent unnecessary troubles.