Departing from the traditional method of anticipating sophisticated attacks from experienced hackers, NordVPN delved into the world of dark web forums to analyze what topics were most discussed by cybercriminals. Findings provide insights into the evolving tactics of hackers, emphasizing the importance of vigilance among regular internet users.
CTO at NordVPN, Marijus Briedis, noted that the shift in focus allows for a better understanding of the threats faced by ordinary internet users, often targeted by amateur hackers. These less experienced individuals can still inflict significant harm on unsuspecting victims, necessitating increased awareness and information dissemination.
Leaked Nudes Take Center Stage on the Dark Web
The most prominent threads on dark web forums revolved around leaked nude images, particularly those sourced from platforms like OnlyFans and Instagram. Threads discussing leaked nudes garnered nearly 1,850 comments, signaling a growing trend.
Briedis warns that in the coming year, we can expect an increase in attacks involving the dissemination of explicit images. Additionally, the use of artificial intelligence or deepfake technology to fabricate misleading content is on the horizon, posing further risks to online privacy.
To mitigate the risk of image leaks, it is advised to abstain from sharing sensitive photos through social media and utilize encrypted cloud solutions for secure photo sharing.
AI Becomes an Ally for Hackers
Hacked ChatGPT accounts and tutorials on leveraging AI for cyber attacks have gained popularity among hackers. This trend indicates a growing interest in using AI to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of hacking operations.
Marijus Briedis predicts that AI tools will increasingly automate phishing attacks, leading to a surge in such incidents. To counteract phishing attempts, users unsure about identifying phishing emails can employ browser extensions designed for that purpose.
Rise of Amateur Hackers
Approximately every tenth post on dark web forums focused on learning various attack techniques. Threads discussing topics like “How to dox,” “List of useful resources for pentesters and hackers,” and “How to hack WhatsApp” underscore a trend of knowledge-sharing among hackers.
This suggests a probable increase in the number of amateur hackers executing attacks. Users are urged to prioritize their cybersecurity education and stay informed about the latest attack methodologies.
Customer Data Sells Like Hot Cakes
A significant portion of discussion threads, accounting for around 55%, centered on leaked customer data, including social media credentials, driver licenses, addresses, and emails.
This implies an enduring interest among hackers in obtaining vulnerable personal information. NordVPN recommends using multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible as a simple measure to protect online data.
Biometric Authentication Faces Challenges
While many platforms adopt biometric authentication methods for enhanced security, the research indicates that hackers have learned to bypass certain biometric verification processes, such as selfie verification.
Threads discussing methods to bypass selfie verification garnered more than 200 comments. Marijus Briedis asserts that while biometric authentication will likely remain a part of future authentication processes, its reliability may be questionable. Predictions suggest the emergence of more layered approaches to protect online accounts.
Passkey Tech Could Be Potential Solution
Recent developments in passkeys technology present a potential solution. Passkeys involve a pair of related keys, public and private, that are useless to hackers without each other. The private key on a device is inaccessible without biometric identification or a PIN, providing an additional layer of protection.
As we venture into 2024, these predictions shed light on the evolving tactics of hackers. The landscape of cybersecurity demands increased awareness, education, and proactive measures from internet users to safeguard personal information and privacy in the face of emerging threats.