Hackers will cut off the internet, hack ATMs

Entire cities can be disconnected from the internet; hackers will figure out how to break into entire ATM chains; and hidden mining is already threatening the operation of industrial plants. All these scenarios can become reality in 2019, according to an outlook by Positive Technologies, an information security software developer.

Indeed, it will become easier for hackers to do these things in the future: even for the three quarters of 2018, such incidents increased by an average of 34%. It’s all the result of a lowering threshold for entering cybercrime. The company’s analysts see nine possible negative scenarios for the cybersecurity market in 2019. The most important one predicts the growth of attacks aimed at stealing personal data and information from user devices.

In 2019, one should still be wary of text messages being intercepted. According to Positive Technologies, 78% of mobile networks remain vulnerable now, and texts interception is possible in nine cases out of 10. Moreover, in the Darknet, one can buy a subscription to receive and fake other people’s texts in real time for $20. Your own computer processor will also be able to leak user information to attackers.

“Advanced cybergroups can create exploits for processor vulnerabilities even now,” Positive Technologies said.

Routers will also be at risk – especially outdated and discontinued devices, with vulnerabilities that will never be fixed by the manufacturer, which continue to work, putting their users at risk.

“Hackers can block the internet access for hundreds of thousands of users, as well as to redirect them to fake pages of online banks and stores in order to steal their passwords,” Positive Technologies reported.

In 2019, it is recommended to use Bluetooth more cautiously as well: last September there were some two bln devices all across the world that had the BlueBorne vulnerability which steals personal data.

However, not only personal devices are susceptible to cyber attacks. ATMs are threatened too:  in 2019, hackers might be able to get access into entire ATM chains. The Darknet already sells instruments for such attacks and even offers to provide technical support to the buyers. At the same time, for instance, up to 85% ATMs are vulnerable to such attacks.

It would seem that due to a drop in the cryptocurrency value, cryptocurrency hackers should slow down their activity. However, this threat still exists on the market. According to Positive Technologies, attacks on cryptocurrency exchange users can become extremely popular in the next 18 months. And, of course, the market should beware of hidden mining, since its consequences might be disastrous, up to the suspension of large industrial facilities’ operations.

“The malware burden on industrial systems is excessive and can ruin the production process quite fast,” Positive Technologies reported.

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