Cyber Threats of 2023

Cyber Threats of 2023

Before people started to surf the Web, the term cyber security had little relevance for most regular folk. However, in 2023, an age where virtually everyone in the modern world is online and uses devices that need internet access to function to their fullest extent, it is a crucial concept that everyone must grasp. According to statistics from Cybersecurity Ventures), cyber-attacks cause businesses and individuals damages of up to $6 trillion annually, with one such incursion happening every thirty-nine seconds. Projections are now that the global cybersecurity market will grow to $300 billion in one year, a staggering increase of $180 billion compared to the sphere’s 2017 figure. Worldwide spending on cybersecurity is also increasing, with Microsoft alone investing more than a billion dollars yearly on what many call the greatest challenge of the digital age.

Though software providers and payment gateways have gone to substantial lengths to plug security holes that have plagued online shoppers and general internet users for decades, hackers are getting smarter, primarily refocusing on social engineering. Areas that they also pivot to are malware and looking to exploit vulnerabilities of newly-founded systems prone to unnoticed bugs. Users of common targeted properties can follow hack-proof tips to protect their accounts from phishing and other famous cyber threats. But the list of online hazards is ever-changing, and below, we list the five that will likely dominate the digital landscape in 2023.

Spoofed BEC Email Scams

Also known as a business email compromise scam, this is a category of cyber scheming where nefarious individuals target a business, aiming to defraud that company. They do not incorporate malicious URLs or malware that can get discovered by traditional cyber defense software. Instead, they rely on the above-mentioned social engineering techniques, where the goal is to trick someone into believing that the attacker is someone they can trust. For this to happen, the fraudsters attempt to gain control of a legitimate email account or engage in domain spoofing. The latter is almost impossible to stop, as no one can anticipate what all conceivable lookalike Web addresses may be.

Usually, attackers build a database of targeted recipients, then send mass messages to them in which they impersonate individuals within a company, such as members of its finance department, requiring urgent responses. If the attacker manages to build trust, it is likely that a data breach is imminent. Potential victims of these should always be cautious of requests that bypass normal channels and carefully examine senders’ email addresses.

Customer Support Swindles

YouTube has a sub-genre of content creators called scam baiters. Jim Browning is probably the most famed of these, a software engineer from Northern Ireland who chiefly looks to take out Indian tech support scam centers. These are team operations that look to infect non-tech-savvy computer users with malware, informing them that they must contact Microsoft tech support or get anti-virus software installed. To do so, they must call a specified phone number.

When the victims reach out to the alleged support staff, they get fooled into giving away control of their devices through remote control software like TeamViewer. From there, scammers edit browser data through the Inspect Elements option, tricking their victims and blackmailing them into buying various gift cards. Though rudimentary, sadly, these ploys still work on much of the public.


Despite what some people think, ransomware is nothing new. It was first implemented in 1989 but entered the public lexicon around the mid-2010s when these attacks started to proliferate online, spread by Russian hacker groups. CryptoLocker was a super famous one that mushroomed over the net from September 2013 to May 2014.

In simple terms, ransomware is a malware category that encrypts or threatens to publish a victim’s data if a ransom does not get paid. More often than not, in a cryptocurrency. The best way to protect against such threats is to maintain good internet security habits outlined in reputable guides.

Pig Butchering

No, this criminal ruse has nothing to do with killing pigs. Its name stems from scammers referring to their victims as pigs, and the plot here is tricking people into forking over substantial amounts, usually in cryptos, for a promised high rate of return.

Schemers (operating under false identities) blast out millions of unsolicited messages regarding token-based investments. When someone replies, they coax them into sending money to partake in various profit-sharing systems. Once they have a victim’s money and have drained as much as they can from them, they proceed to ghost that person. Because of the nature of cryptocurrencies, victims can't get their lost funds back.

Third-Party Access Risks

Third-party risk is any danger brought upon an organization by parties that exist outside of its base ecosystem. Today, with the advent of cloud migration, many entities are incorporating third-party software solutions that have not gotten 100% vetted for reliability with their infrastructure. That leaves openings for hackers, and per the opinion of digital consultant David Attard, data breaches via third-party access will rise this year.

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