STM Published Cyber Threat Report

In 2017, cyber-attacks zero in on the Turkish banking sector

Date: Issue 73 - April 2017

STM, one of the leading companies of Turkey in the fields of Cyber Security and Big Data, published the new Cyber Threat Report. According to the report, an increase in cyber-attacks was observed in 47% of the enterprises during the last 5 years. It was pointed out in the report that cyber-attacks towards the Turkish economy are thriving and that the banking sector in particular is the initial objective.

According to STM’s Cyber Threat Report, which comprises the October-December time period, 2016 general assessment and the projections for 2017, Turkey ranks first amongst the countries that are exposed to ransomware and online banking attacks within the European Region in 2016. The harmful software used to seize usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, PIN codes, or phishing attacks mostly by the use of links attached to e-mails are the most common types of attacks that were encountered in relation to online banking. The new version of “Tordow”, the first harmful mobile software targeting the banking sector, is expected to affect the world’s online banking systems this year. In 2017, particularlly corporate e-mail fraud and SWIFT attacks are expected to increase. With these methods, cyber hijackers can follow especially the institutions’ financial correspondence and transfer goods or money to themselves.

Energy Distribution Systems on the Target of Hackers!

In the report, cyber threats towards energy distribution systems, especially in the recent period, was highlighted and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources’ statement referenced foreign-based cyber-attacks made to electricity transmission lines in the last days of 2016. The use of Internet of Things becoming popular in the industry causes more exposure to attacks with harmful software. In 2017, an increase is expected in attacks against Industrial Control Systems, and particularly against Energy Distribution Systems which largely involve such systems. At this point, the studies should be accelerated in order to enhance critical infrastructure security.

Threats Becoming Smarter

In STM’s report, the cyber threats expected to be encountered in 2017 include DDoS attacks where IoT platforms are used, ransomware, attacks towards mobile devices, industrial control systems and especially towards energy distribution systems, information stealing through accessing internal correspondences and attacks aiming at stealing data from closed systems. Another noteworthy detail in the report is that “anthropomorphic” harmful software is expected to emerge this year. This software will create a threat by using success-based learning ability i.e. artificial intelligence applications in order to increase the impact of the attacks. The experts will also have to use a combination of different security solutions to cope with this threat.

Cyber Propaganda Threat!

The recent increase in Internet access also increases the threat of cyber propaganda. In the report, it was mentioned that malicious acts and terrorist organizations will attempt to direct political and social events by abusing social media.

By commissioning the Cyber Fusion Center, a product of the new generation cyber security approach, and by organizing the “Capture the Flag” events attention is drawn to cyber security.  STM is carrying out important studies to reinforce Turkey’s cyber security infrastructure and preventing the cyber threats from becoming more complicated and hazardous.