Google: Identity Theft and Ransomware Top Targets for Cybercriminals in 2023

Eric Goldstein
Eric Goldstein Chief Editor
Eric Goldstein Eric Goldstein Chief Editor

Top Google security experts and analysts predicted that cybercrime will get even worse in 2023 than it was in 2022, during an interview with VentureBeat. The FBI reported that online scams cost citizens nearly $7 billion in 2021.

In interviews with VentureBeat, Google executives identified 6 of the top threats they expect to see over the next 12 months.

The No. 1 security threat was identity and authentication, according to VentureBeat. According to the FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report, it received over 53,000 identity theft complaints, which was more than 8,000 that were reported in 2020.

“Organizations will continue to struggle with identity- and authentication-related attacks, where relatively unsophisticated threat actors are able to purchase credentials in the underground, or con their way into the organization,” a Google VP said. “As a result, platform makers will be pressured to help consumers and enterprises defend against malware that steals those credentials.”

The second-highest area of concern centered around hackers attempting to compromise employees to act against their employer.

“We will see increases in insider risks, with attackers attempting to coerce and extort otherwise trusted insiders to commit malicious acts,” the article reported. “Meanwhile, federated identity and authentication vendors will come under increasing attack to attempt to target other software as a service (SaaS) providers. “We’ll also see people start to realize the Y2K-scale level of work involved in transitioning to post-quantum cryptography.”

Another risk consumers and businesses must be on alert for is ransomware attacks on private and public entities. In 2021, the FBI received 3,729 complaints identified as ransomware with adjusted losses of more than $49.2 million.

“Globally, we’ll see the continued growth and prominence of ransomware attacks across [the] public and private sectors. Across the wider attack surface, industry-specific threats and capabilities will grow, affecting verticals including healthcare, energy, finance and more.

“As an industry, our ongoing research and work on supply chain security, especially on the heels of major attacks, will continue to reveal how much more collaborative work needs to be done.”

The Google experts also predicted to see more passkeys issued to protect users’ data, cybercrime vendors to change the types of threats they manage, and for hackers to compromise reused passwords and secret question fields.

About the Author
Eric Goldstein
Eric Goldstein
Chief Editor

About the Author

Eric Goldstein is Chief Editor at SafetyDetectives. As an internet security researcher and IT journalist, he has over 3 years of experience writing and editing articles and blog posts about VPNs, parental controls, and other cybsersecurity products and tools. In addition, Eric writes and edits news stories focused on cybersecurity issues for SafetyDetectives. He also spent 20+ years as a sportswriter for multiple media outlets and served in a communications role for a national corporation. When he's not working, he can be found spending time with his family, working out, and watching his favorite sports teams.

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