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A Look into 2024
The past year has marked significant upheaval across the cybersecurity landscape, witnessing an evolving
array of threats that have continued to challenge businesses and consumers globally. As geopolitical and
economic shifts complicate the landscape, threat actors have displayed unprecedented levels of adaptability,
exploiting both novel strategies and reimagined traditional methods.
The Rising Threat of Artificial Intelligence
The advent of Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT-4, Claude, and PaLM2 has opened new avenues
for both innovation and exploitation. These advanced AI systems, while promising immense potential, also
pose a substantial risk when used for malicious purposes. Cybercriminals are increasingly capitalizing on
these LLMs, utilizing them to orchestrate large-scale phishing campaigns and craft sophisticated attacks
without the need for extensive expertise or resources.
The underground development of tools like FraudGPT and WormGPT in cybercriminal networks showcases
the accelerating trend of leveraging AI for nefarious activities. The ease of creating counterfeit webpages,
phishing emails, and evasive malware through these LLM applications forewarns a surge in such malicious
practices throughout 2024.
The Revival of Script Kiddies
The resurgence of ‘Script Kiddies,’ aided by the proliferation of AI-driven tools, represents a significant
threat on the cybersecurity horizon. Script Kiddies are typically unskilled people who use scripts and pro-
grams developed by others for nefarious purposes. The democratization of AI technology enables unskilled
actors to execute complex attacks at scale. While several mainstream AI tools implement security measures
to prevent the creation of malicious code, the dark web harbors unrestricted generative AI, facilitating the
development of sophisticated malware and aiding social engineering schemes.
As AI-driven tools continue to evolve, the potential for unskilled actors to pose a substantial threat to cyber-
security looms large, complicating the landscape for defenders and intensifying the challenges of root cause
AI-generated Voice Scams: An Expanding Sphere of Deception
The proliferation of scams employing AI-generated voices poses a growing risk, leveraging psychological
manipulation to deceive individuals and organizations. Advancements in AI have empowered scammers to
create synthetic voices that closely mimic human speech patterns, making it harder to distinguish genuine
and fraudulent communications.
This year, MGM Resorts were one of the more high-profile victims of voice phishing. This was a huge
operation committed by a group called Scattered Spider, who are especially talented at “vishing”. Following
the hackers finding an employee’s information on LinkedIn, they proceeded to impersonate them in a call to
MGM’s IT help desk in order to obtain credentials. This, in turn, allowed to access and infect MGM’s systems.
The scalability of AI-generated voice scams allows threat actors to automate and personalize fraudulent activities,
expanding their reach across diverse linguistic backgrounds and geographic regions. The increasing authenticity
of these voices challenges victims’ ability to detect fraudulent communications, heralding an era where real-time
detection becomes even more difficult.
Managed File Transfers and Emerging Polyglot Threats
Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions, indispensable for secure data exchange, emerge as prime targets for
ransomware threats due to the critical information they hold. The sophistication of ransomware attacks capital-
izing on MFT vulnerabilities highlights the need for organizations to fortify their defenses by implementing
robust security measures like DLP solutions and data encryption. Furthermore, the evolution of malware threats
written in languages like Golang, Nim, and Rust introduces a new layer of complexity. The relative scarcity of
security tooling for these languages poses a formidable challenge for cybersecurity experts, foreshadowing a
surge in malware developed using these languages in 2024.
Evolving Ransomware Tactics
Ransomware groups continue to evolve their tactics, exploring new avenues to apply pressure on victims.
Targeting victims’ clients becomes a concerning trend as threat actors escalate their demands and leverage
media pressure to coerce payments. Sectors dealing with sensitive personal information face heightened
risks, with healthcare, social media, education, and SaaS industries becoming prime targets for these
sophisticated ransomware groups. The fusion of traditional ransom demands with the threat of exposing
sensitive data escalates the stakes for victims and adds a layer of complexity to ransomware mitigation
As the 2024 election cycle approaches, the human element remains a critical vulnerability in election security.
Cyber-attacks targeting elected officials through phishing schemes continue to be a prominent threat. Heighten-
ed vigilance, skepticism toward unfamiliar hyperlinks, and implementing solutions to detect advanced malicious
files and URLs are pivotal in safeguarding the electoral process from sophisticated attacks.
QR Code Phishing
The rising trend of QR code-based phishing campaigns exploits the inherent trust associated with these codes.
Cybercriminals capitalize on the widespread usage of QR codes, embedding malicious links and distributing
malware, presenting a growing challenge for traditional email security solutions.
Python in Excel and Vulnerable Drivers
The introduction of Python in Excel offers cybercriminals a potential new vector for attacks. While Microsoft
has implemented security measures to limit access and connectivity, the possibility of abuse via vulnerabilities
or misconfigurations remains a concern.
Meanwhile, vulnerable drivers, capable of executing malicious code with kernel privileges, represent a significant
threat. Despite initiatives to block these drivers, the ease of exploitation and widespread availability continue to pose
challenges, fostering a landscape ripe for increased driver-based exploits in 2024.
As the cybersecurity landscape evolves, threat actors continue to display unparalleled adaptability and innovation,
challenging defenders like Inceptus to remain a step ahead. The convergence of AI-driven threats, ransomware evo-
lution, and the exploitation of newer attack vectors heightens the urgency for organizations to adopt resilient cyber-
security strategies. Vigilance, innovation, and a proactive approach to emerging threats will be crucial in navigating
the complexities of cybersecurity in 2024. As your trusted cybersecurity advisors, Inceptus uses best-in-breed tactics
to ensure that your data stays secure throughout the new year.
Contact us now to secure your digital future!