On December 9,2021 an acute Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability was reported in the Apache logging package Log4j 2 versions 2.14.1 that shook the internet.
By December 10, more than 3.7 million hacking attempts had been made to exploit the vulnerability, according to leading cyber security firm Checkpoint, with more than 46% conducted by known malicious groups.
Meanwhile, President, Cyber security Experts Association of Nigeria, CSEAN, Mr Remi Afon has warned that 2022 is expected to witness an escalation in cyber attacks and cybercrime from what was witnessed in 2021.
Afon said that his prediction was based on cyber security trends in Nigeria and around the world, coupled with insights from leaders and global experts who assess the evolving cyber environment and the security threats.
He said that existing trends show that there will be a spike in Ransom ware and Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, as well as deepfakes.
He said: “The year 2021 witnessed unprecedented Ransom ware attacks with the rise of Ransom ware-as-a-Service (RaaS) groups on the Darkweb. The average amount of reported Ransom ware transactions per month in 2021 was $102.3 million, according to FinCEN Report.
“Approximately 37% of global organisations said they were victims of some form of a ransom ware attack in 2021, according to IDC’s 2021 Ransom -ware Study.
“In 2022, the ransom -ware threat and level of severity of ransom -ware attacks will grow.
“With ransom -ware becoming the new digital pandemic, we expect to see the highest reported ransom paid by organisations in 2022 and disruption of service with maximum impact in terms of financial loss.
“The loss would not only be calculated based on ransom paid, but in terms of financial losses due to service unavailability, loss of market share, and a drop in stakeholder confidence, amongst other factors.”
He also hinted that as the 2023 Nigeria general elections is approaching, the use of Deepfakes and fake news will rise in 2022. Deepfakes are videos, images, or audio recordings that are manipulated by AI technology.
In a deepfake, an individual can be presented as saying or doing something that didn’t happen. Deepfakes are typically used to slander targets, manipulate events, falsify statements, or evidence, and create scandals.
They’re made with artificial intelligence software that maps targeted people’s faces into scenes and onto other people’s bodies, or otherwise manipulate parts of videos.