Security Mediate Tank: The phishing forecast for 2024

Egress’ Jack Chapman and James Dyer stumble on how phishing attacks are procedure to grow in their scope and sophistication this yr, with generative AI taking half in a monumental role


  • Jack Chapman and James Dyer

Printed: 07 Feb 2024

2023 used to be a ground-breaking yr for cyber security advancements and attacks, with fresh tendencies making headlines globally. In 2024, we are in a position to are waiting for to gape increasingly more evolved phishing campaigns leveraging the capabilities of AI, and more refined and frequent attacks which potential. Already in 2024, now we own considered a choice of breaches and attacks at the side of the usage of ‘bespoke phishing lures’ against Microsoft employees.

Quicker, more durable and more centered

Transferring from 2023 to 2024, a key pattern is automation slack cyber attacks and more importantly how attackers can mix and automate at some point of more than one steps of the aged atomize chain. This sadly will proceed to magnify; we think this can fling to this point as automatically creating or selecting templated phishing attacks tailored to a particular person’s beginning-source intelligence (OSINT) facts, sending the assault, asking for and validating the MFA and validating the compromise to make observe-up attacks.

Cyber criminals incessantly is the usage of OSINT, harvested with the assistance of AI, to invent plausible backstories by scraping social media profiles in no longer up to a second, or asking ChatGPT to jot down the most persuasive messages, and even utilise AI tool to motivate invent payloads and bustle up provide.

The reduction in attacker participation permits for more refined centered attacks, without the possibility actor spending time, money or effort, and in the atomize elevating the popular bar for a hit attacks. As AI is added to a possibility actor’s arsenal, we hope 2024 brings more governance around these instruments and the ethical spend of AI tool.

Security of AI coming to the forefront

Attackers weaponising the usage of AI, whether or no longer it be utilising gigantic language fashions (LLMs) or automating the period of A/B sorting out particular aspects within phishing emails and broader cyber attacks, will proceed to dominate conversations. Nonetheless, an dwelling which is misplaced sight of incessantly is concentrating on the AI techniques which would be in procedure to guard organisations themselves.

Regardless that these techniques are an asset to offer a enhance to the technology controls retaining organisations, attackers own realised the different right here. Why fight the technology can own to that you can inform it that every of your attacks are “safe”?

This is an evolution from obfuscation-primarily based attacks which target the technology correct away; now attackers can target the technology and the machine studying slack it.

This refined concentrating on extends to the likes of creative attacks that brand it tricky for Natural Language Processing (NLP) and linguistic assessments to hit upon malicious wording within emails. We predict that the usage of invisible characters, lookalike characters and photos to lead optimistic of scannable words which NLP would traditionally seize up will change into increasingly more frequent.

Alongside a identical vein, we’ll doubtlessly gape a spike in password-restricted payloads where the payload is hidden at the muse moreover more attacks coming through encrypted emails which security alternate options battle to scan.

Original barrage of provide chain threats

Over the previous few years, now we own considered the evolution of attackers utilising compromised commercial accounts to target fresh and unsuspecting victims, successfully bypassing authentication and trust-primarily based security techniques.

In 2024 we predict that this can observe on to the following efficient procedure at a fresh scale and direct, the usage of the compromised accounts of parents who’re already known to an organisation and its users. At Egress, now we own already considered a pointy upward push in the latter half of 2023, but it’s expected to grow significantly in 2024.

For a possibility actor, this has so many appealing aspects: a sharp-made checklist of attainable targets, a ways bigger success rates than your hobble-of-the-mill compromised assault, and a more efficient route into more receive but appealing organisations which would be too tricky to target correct away. This goes to be a monumental pattern for 2024.

Multi-channel attacks on the upward push

Cyber attacks are turning into increasingly more refined, but they’re additionally utilising more than one channels to strive so that you can add legitimacy. Victims might perhaps merely receive a QR code in an email, after which a observe-up SMS text, replicating multi-channel solutions considered recurrently ragged in advertising and marketing and marketing, and even multi-direct authentication.

In 2024, we are in a position to handiest gape this pattern rising. And with messaging apps love WhatsApp and Model having fewer security techniques than electronic mail, it’s no longer traumatic to evaluate more channels will likely be centered.

Worthy love old years, cyber attacks will likely change into more frequent and evolved with the cybercriminal neighborhood leveraging fresh instruments to evade detection. Staying cognisant of these dangers and guaranteeing security and awareness coaching is prioritised incessantly is the important thing to staying a step forward in 2024.

Jack Chapman is senior vp of possibility intelligence at Egress.

James Dyer is possibility intelligence lead at Egress

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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