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Avast: Expect Cybercrime “Scamdemic” to Continue in 2023

Cybercrime, piracy and data theft. Network security breach. Compromised computer showing skull and bones symbol. Digital 3D rendering concept.

Ransomware and other cybercrime have caused a "scamdemic" that looks poised to continue in 2023, said Michal Salat, threat intelligence director at antivirus software company Avast.

Cybercrime groups are doing everything in their power to deceive people and get them to send money or give up their personal data, Salat noted. It also is becoming easier than ever before for cybercrime groups to hack personal devices — and people must plan accordingly in 2023.

Other Cybercrime Predictions for 2023

Cybercrime groups may increasingly launch attacks by "playing with people's economic and environmental concerns," Salat indicated. These attacks may involve phishing emails, text messages and phone calls in which cybercrime groups flood people with notifications or requests.

In addition, cybercrime groups may use social media account takeovers that lead to impersonation attacks on online friends more frequently in 2023, Avast stated. This is due to the fact that cybercrime groups can target individuals with these attacks.

Meanwhile, the business of cybercrime is likely to become "more sophisticated" in 2023, according to Avast. In 2022, cybercrime groups Zloader, Racoon Stealer and Ursnif worked together to support one another and maximize their profits. This successful collaboration could lead other cybercrime groups to explore opportunities to partner with each other to launch attacks.

Also, new global sanctions could put organizations affected by ransomware "in a sticky situation" in 2023, Avast stated. These organizations could face legal consequences if they pay ransom demands to ransomware groups based in Russia and others listed on sanctions lists.

How to Protect Against Cyberattacks in 2023

Cybercrime will remain a major problem for global organizations in 2023. However, Avast offered several tips to help these organizations combat cybercrime moving forward, such as:

  • Do not download email attachments from unknown senders
  • Use two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Keep apps and software up to date
  • Perform regular system backups
  • Utilize an ad blocker and antivirus software

Cybercrime is a "growing business," Salat noted. With a proactive approach to cybercrime, an organization is well equipped to combat cyberattacks in 2023 and beyond.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.