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Anna McChesney

A year in review: Cybersecurity trends and challenges in 2023

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A year in review: Cybersecurity trends and challenges in 2023

The year 2023 marked a significant evolution in the cybersecurity landscape as it adapted to an array of emerging digital threats. The rise in cybercrime, data breaches, and hacking incidents has had a substantial impact on both individuals and businesses worldwide.

Reports indicate a stark 125% increase in global cyber attacks since 2021, a trend that persisted into 2022 and underscored the pressing demand for enhanced cybersecurity defenses. On average, it takes security professionals approximately 277 days to identify and neutralize a cyber attack, highlighting the complex nature of managing and mitigating these digital threats effectively.

As for the cybersecurity challenges this year, they have primarily arisen due to several key factors:

  • Geopolitical events

Geopolitical occurrences have had a profound impact on the cyber threat landscape. Notably, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in significant repercussions, leading to an eightfold increase in Russian-based phishing attacks targeting the email addresses of European and U.S.-based businesses. During the first quarter of 2022, there was an 11% increase in breaches affecting approximately 3.6 million Russian internet users.

  • Influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Regenerative AI is leveraged to create more sophisticated cyber threats in 2023, including deep fake phishing scams. This is compounded by a reported shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals worldwide.

AI adoption in the cybersecurity market is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.6%. By 2027, it is expected to reach a market value of $46.3 billion. However, smaller businesses, organizations, and particularly healthcare institutions that can’t afford substantial investments in cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies like AI find themselves at heightened risk.

  • Extortion via ransomware attacks

Extortion through ransomware attacks remains a persistent and evolving threat. Attackers frequently demand cryptocurrency payments, which makes it hard for law enforcement to trace the money.

These attacks not only disrupt businesses but also result in significant financial losses and potential damage to an organization’s reputation.

  • The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT)

The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) has also created numerous new targets for malicious actors to exploit. This presents an urgent need for both industry and government sectors to comprehend the implications of emerging cyber threat tools, including AI and machine learning, and to fortify defenses against potential attacks.

Cybercrime trends 2023

The Cybercrime Trends report for this year provides a clear look at today’s cybersecurity situation. Staying informed about the latest trends in cybercrime is important for individuals and businesses alike seeking to safeguard their digital assets and privacy.

Here are some of the key trends and developments in the world of cybercrime for 2023:

1. Escalating cybersecurity costs

With increasingly sophisticated attack methods, organizations and businesses worldwide are compelled to invest in advanced security measures, update training, and hire dedicated cybersecurity personnel.

Breaches can incur costs that spiral into millions when rectifying the breach and recovering from downtime. The 2022 average breach cost was $4.35 million, and it’s projected to reach $10.5 trillion in global economic impact by 2025.

IBM’s 2023 report reveals the U.S. data breach average cost at $9.48 million, up slightly from 2022. Globally, data breach costs averaged $4.45 million, marking a 2.4% increase. Smaller businesses face significant cost hikes, with estimated increases of 21.4% for organizations with 500-1,000 employees and 13.4% for companies with fewer than 500 employees.

2. Phishing: The most prevalent form of cybercrime

Phishing remains the top choice for hackers, involving the extraction of valuable data and malware propagation. Recent statistics show that more than half (53.2%) of criminal online activities are linked to this cybercrime.

Every day, around 3.4 billion spam emails are sent. Advancements in technology have made phishing more accessible and effective, often coupled with ransomware attacks. Although phishing through email has been a constant threat since the early days of the internet, hackers have developed specialized versions of phishing tailored to various communication channels.

For example, spear phishing targets specific groups or roles within a company, using more sophisticated language and terminology to deceive potential victims. On the other hand, whaling focuses on high-level executives, such as the C-suite.

During the initial quarter of 2023, nearly 60% of emails reported by employees were aimed at stealing login credentials. This resulted in downtime, disruptions to business operations, and the loss of sensitive data, which were widespread repercussions of cyber assaults for the majority of businesses.

3. Ransomware surge

Chainalysis has reported a significant increase in ransomware-related cryptocurrency crimes, resulting in earnings of $450 million in the first half of 2023. On a global scale, 64% of organizations targeted by ransomware have chosen to pay the ransom. If this trend continues, attackers could extort nearly $900 million in 2023, surpassing 2022’s figures.

However, Lindy Cameron, the head of the UK NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre), and John Edwards, the Information Commissioner, discourage paying ransoms because it does not guarantee a positive outcome. Victims might not regain access to their data or computer systems, and the threat of lingering infections remains. Paying ransoms may make companies more vulnerable to future attacks.

4. Widespread cyber incidents and breaches

This year, Deloitte conducted a Global Cybersecurity Outlook Survey that takes into account both reported and potential undisclosed occurrences. The survey reveals a significant uptick in the number of organizations grappling with cyber incidents and breaches, marking a 3% escalation when contrasted with the figures from 2021.

5. Global cybercrime victimization

The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviours Report 2023 reveals that one in three Americans has fallen victim to cybercrimes. There is a 7% global increase in the perception of being potential cybercrime victims compared to 2022.

The survey further reveals that 50% of respondents from the surveyed nations perceive themselves as potential targets for cybercriminals. This underscores the imperative need for sustained efforts to fortify cybersecurity measures.

6. Concern over data compromise

This year, American adults have voiced heightened concerns about the possibility of their data being compromised and stolen from the companies they frequently engage with. The percentage of those expressing ‘very concerned’ sentiments has risen to 41% at present, up from an average of 36% in the final quarter of 2022.

Currently, nine out of ten Americans indicate at least ‘some level of concern’ regarding the security of their personal data from potential hacking.

Strategic cybersecurity measures for businesses

With the growing risks associated with interconnected devices, Forbes reports that businesses in these sectors need to adopt strong cybersecurity measures, including incident response plans, risk assessments, and regular security audits.

Advanced cybersecurity tools and techniques like machine learning and AI have been implemented to enhance threat detection and response. Services like C8 Secure, for instance, have embraced AI-driven anomaly detection and security analytics within their SIEM, MDR and Cloud WAAP solutions.

Here’s how these technologies help:

1. Assessing cybersecurity risks

This involves analyzing and evaluating cybersecurity risks associated with vital infrastructures like power grids or water treatment facilities. C8 Secure’s advanced systems can swiftly pinpoint unusual network or website activities that might signify a cyber attack. By doing this, organizations can focus their security efforts and resources where they matter most.

2. Analyzing threat intelligence

By studying data on potential threats, companies can detect patterns and trends that may indicate an imminent cyber attack. This helps organizations prioritize security actions and prepare their defenses before an attack occurs.

C8 Secure’s MDR (Managed Endpoint Protection and Response) Solution, powered by advanced behavioral anomaly detection capabilities aligned to the MITRE ATT&CK framework.  This next generation of endpoint security is supported by artificial intelligence and SOAR technologies designed to detect and prevent malware attacks targeting desktops, laptops and servers. Through the analysis of device behavior patterns in real time, the solution can swiftly identify potential threats and take preventive actions.

3. Detecting anomalies

Machine learning and AI can be used to spot unusual activity that may signal a cyber attack by recognizing normal system behaviors. This predictive approach combines data from various sources like networks, application logs, and threat feeds to foresee potential cyber threats.

4. Automating incident response

In today’s continually evolving digital environment, the importance of security process automation allows companies to swiftly respond to specific types of cyberattacks, such as malware infections, ransomware or DDoS attacks. This quick response helps contain and prevent the spread of attacks to other systems.

Learn more about C8 Secure here


Safeguard your business against cyber attacks caused by human error

25 September, 2023

A frequent weak point that attackers target is mistakes made by employees. This blog will outline effective strategies to keep your business safe.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started

Spotting and understanding digital impersonation through deepfakes

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Spotting and understanding digital impersonation through deepfakes

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This year marks 20 years of the event, created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

This educational article has been created to support you in spotting and understanding deepfakes.

Ever stumbled upon the term “digital impersonation?” It’s an expansive field, encompassing everything from deceptive social media profiles to manipulated videos.

Among these, deepfakes stand out as a particularly alarming player in internet risks. Not just for harmless pranks, deepfakes can be weaponized in scams, identity theft, and even international espionage.

That’s why learning to identify a deepfake transcends being a mere intriguing skill set. It emerges as an essential layer of self-defense for any individual exploring the intricate and often deceptive terrain of today’s internet.

What are deepfakes?

Simply put, deepfakes are synthetic or fabricated media created using machine learning algorithms. These algorithms are designed to produce hyper-realistic representations of real people saying or doing things they never actually said or did. By doing so, deepfakes can trick viewers, listeners, and even experts, thereby creating a distortion of reality.

The science behind deepfakes leverages neural networks, an offshoot of artificial intelligence. These algorithms can mimic anyone with enough data, such as photos, voice recordings, or videos. While there’s an undeniable “wow” factor to this, the technology also harbors the potential for misuse, notably in spreading misinformation or sowing discord.

How are they made?

In the realm of entertainment, deepfakes can replace actors in scenes or even revive deceased celebrities. Special effects teams utilize machine learning models to achieve these results.

However, deepfakes have a darker side. Imagine a manipulated video where a political leader seemingly declares war. Such deepfakes are typically created by collecting numerous images and audio clips and then using deep learning algorithms to synthesize them into a new, false context.

Creating a deepfake involves using two neural networks—generative and discriminative. The generative network produces the fake media, while the discriminative network evaluates its authenticity. They work together, essentially “teaching” each other until the generative network can produce a convincing deepfake.

Illicit examples of deepfakes

Can deepfakes cause a problem? The short answer is yes. They have the potential for far-reaching, damaging consequences.

Imagine a deepfake video portraying you committing a crime you never committed. The video goes viral before you even have a chance to defend yourself. Your reputation, painstakingly built over years, could be destroyed in mere minutes. Now extend that risk to everyone you know – family, friends, colleagues – the potential for personal life disruption is vast and scary.

Deepfakes don’t just stop at causing personal turmoil. They have the potency to wreak havoc on an entire nation’s political landscape. Imagine manipulated videos of politicians making false promises or engaging in scandalous behavior circulated widely right before an election.

This is no longer about mere mudslinging. It’s an advanced form of electoral manipulation that can misinform voters and significantly skew public sentiment. False narratives could be propagated at unprecedented scales, leading to electoral misconduct and even political instability.

In a business context, deepfakes also pose an alarming risk. Consider a fabricated video where a CEO falsely announces a corporate merger or a significant financial downturn that isn’t real. The video goes public, and before fact-checkers can catch up, the company’s stock takes a nosedive. Investors panic, pull out their funds, and the entire market fluctuates based on a lie. Not only does the targeted corporation suffer, but the ripple effect could lead to sector-wide downturns and even impact national economies.

What is the solution?

Deepfakes have moved from being a fascinating display of technology to a pressing concern that threatens our personal, political, and economic security. As these digitally manipulated videos become increasingly realistic and accessible, how do we counteract the potentially catastrophic impact of deepfakes? It requires a multi-layered approach that involves legal action, technological innovation, and collective vigilance.

Regulatory frameworks

The first line of defense against the deepfake epidemic starts in the courtroom. Laws must evolve to meet the complex challenges posed by deepfakes. Legal systems worldwide need to incorporate comprehensive penalties for the malicious creation and distribution of deepfakes.

Legislation should focus not only on the culprits behind these creations but also penalize platforms that willingly or negligently allow the distribution of such content. These laws would serve as a deterrent, signaling a zero-tolerance stance on using deceptive media to harm individuals or disrupt societal structures.

Public awareness campaigns

While laws can control the after-effects, prevention starts with education. Widespread public awareness campaigns are crucial to inform people about the existence of deepfakes and the risks associated with them. Schools, universities, and public institutions should offer seminars, workshops, and courses on digital literacy that cover the recognition of deepfakes.

Public service announcements can be aired on television and social media platforms to reach a broader audience. The ultimate goal is to arm the public with the knowledge to discern real content from manipulated media.

Advanced detection algorithms

In the ongoing battle against deepfakes, technology fights fire with fire, making it imperative for detection methods to advance at a similar pace. Several companies are developing advanced software solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to detect deepfakes. These algorithms scrutinize various aspects of a media file, such as inconsistencies in lighting, facial movements, and audio, to determine its authenticity.

While not foolproof, these technologies are continually evolving to improve accuracy. Incorporating such algorithms into social media platforms and news websites can serve as an additional layer of protection against the dissemination of false information.

Community vigilance

No solution is entirely effective without community involvement. Crowdsourced reporting platforms can play a pivotal role in identifying and removing deepfakes, especially on social media. These platforms allow users to flag suspicious content for review.

With millions of eyes scrutinizing content, the chances of a deepfake going unnoticed decrease dramatically. Community vigilance complements technological solutions, adding a human element to detection efforts.

Key indicators for spotting deepfakes

As deepfakes blur the line between reality and digital fabrication, the need for discerning the genuine from the manipulated becomes increasingly urgent. Fortunately, these digital deceptions often leave behind subtle clues, such as:

  • Audiovisual mismatch: Deepfakes often display incongruities between audio and visuals. A careful viewer might spot lip-syncing errors or awkward facial expressions that don’t match the tone of speech.
  • Blinking anomalies: One tell-tale sign is unnatural blinking. Human blinking is subtle yet consistent, something deepfakes often fail to replicate.
  • Inconsistencies in lighting and shadows: Deepfakes frequently exhibit errors in lighting and shadows, providing clues to their artificial nature.
  • Pixelation and image distortions: Look for sudden blurs, pixelation, or strange distortions around facial features. These are often clues that you’re viewing a deepfake.
  • Audio glitches: Static noise or unnatural modulation in voice can also indicate a deepfake.
  • Metadata analysis: Although easily modified or omitted, examining the file’s metadata can offer insights into whether the file has undergone deepfake manipulations.

Expert tools for Deepfake detection

There are specialized software tools for those who want to rely on something other than human analysis. These solutions use AI algorithms to identify inconsistencies in framerate, audio, and even the direction of light and shadows.

Platforms like Deepware Scanner offer free, open-source tools for deepfake detection. These programs analyze videos frame-by-frame to ascertain their legitimacy.

There are also commercial solutions for corporate or governmental use. Businesses and governments can work with cybersecurity firms to analyze and get a detailed breakdown of potential manipulation techniques in the media file.


In an age where digital technologies are both awe-inspiring and potentially perilous, the rise of deepfakes underscores the importance of vigilance, education, and innovative solutions. As these sophisticated fabrications continue to challenge our perception of reality, individuals, communities, and industries must collaborate to ensure the digital realm remains trustworthy. Arm yourself with knowledge, stay updated on the latest detection methods, and remember that a discerning eye is one of the most valuable tools. Embrace the advancements, but always proceed with informed caution.


Safeguard your business against cyber attacks caused by human error

25 September, 2023

A frequent weak point that attackers target is mistakes made by employees. This blog will outline effective strategies to keep your business safe.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started

Safeguard your business against cyber attacks caused by human error

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Human error

Safeguard your business against cyber attacks caused by human error

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. This year’s theme is how to keep yourself cyber safe.

As the world becomes more reliant on digital technology, businesses, both large and small, face a growing risk of cyber attacks. A frequent weak point that attackers target is mistakes made by employees. This blog will outline effective strategies to keep your business safe.

Human error is an ever-present risk in cybersecurity. Whether it’s clicking on a suspicious link, falling victim to a phishing scam, or inadvertently sharing sensitive information, employees can unintentionally open the door to cyber threats.

IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023 revealed that attempts to hijack threads in emails doubled in 2022 from the 2021 data, which highlights that cybercriminals are exploiting the human error factor within a system. The research also showed that ransomware was the most common attack, accounting for 17% of all incidents. Phishing emerged as the preferred choice for cybercriminals, with over 40% of all attacks employing this deceptive tactic.

Cyber attack cases due to human error

Victims felt the pressure in 27% of cyber attacks. This is why cybercriminals often focus on their extortion efforts. One notable example of such extortion tactics was demonstrated by the digital extortion gang Lapsus$ in early 2022. This group, which had surfaced in December, launched an extensive hacking spree, targeting high-profile and sensitive companies like Nvidia, Samsung, and Ubisoft.

They stole valuable source code and data and leaked it as part of their apparent extortion schemes. Their spree peaked in March when Lapsus$ announced its successful breaches of Microsoft Bing and Cortana source code. The group also compromised a contractor who had access to the widely used authentication service Okta. These attackers, suspected to be based in the United Kingdom and South America, primarily relied on phishing attacks to gain entry into their targets’ systems.

In February 2021, one of Silicon Valley’s oldest and renowned venture capital firms, Sequoia Capital, was hacked. This occurred due to human error. The hackers were able to access the company’s investors’ financial and personal information. The attack succeeded after one of the company’s employees was victim to a phishing email.

In August 2019, Toyota Boshoku Corporation, a subsidiary of Toyota Group in Europe, suffered a massive attack that cost the company almost $40 million. The attackers used a fraudulent fund transfer to steal from the company. They were able to use the funds after posing as a business partner. The hackers then sent phishing emails to the finance and accounting departments of the company.

Effective strategies to combat cyber attacks and human error

Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated. As IBM’s report showed, human error remains a significant vulnerability. To safeguard your company’s sensitive data and maintain your reputation, it’s imperative to implement robust cybersecurity measures such as:

1. Comprehensive employee training

The first line of defense against cyber threats is a well-informed workforce. Provide your employees with thorough training on cybersecurity best practices. This should encompass recognizing phishing attempts, understanding password hygiene, and staying updated on the latest threats. Regular workshops and seminars can go a long way in keeping your staff vigilant.

2. Strong password policies

Weak or easily guessable passwords are an open invitation to cybercriminals. Encourage the use of complex passwords with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible to add an extra layer of security.

3. Regular software updates

Neglecting software updates can leave your organization vulnerable to cyber threats. Outdated software often contains known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. To mitigate this risk, make it a standard practice to ensure that all your applications and systems have the latest security patches. Whenever possible, automate this process to reduce the chance of human error or oversight. By staying up-to-date, you not only enhance security but also benefit from improved software performance and functionality.

4. Robust Firewall and EDR/MDR

A reputable firewall paired with an EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) or MDR (Managed Detection and Response) solution can help strengthen your prevention and response posture . These tools provide continuous monitoring of network traffic, detecting, and promptly addressing malicious activities. Utilize behavioral anomaly detection to identify unusual user behaviors, which can indicate compromised accounts. It’s crucial to maintain and regularly update these security solutions to adapt to your organization’s evolving needs and the ever-changing threat landscape.

5. Data encryption

Sensitive data is cybercriminals’ favorite target, and data breaches can have severe consequences. To protect your critical information, implement encryption protocols. Encryption ensures that data remains indecipherable to unauthorized individuals without the appropriate decryption keys. By applying encryption both in transit (when data is being transmitted between systems) and at rest (when data is stored), you add an extra layer of security.

6. Incident response plan

No organization is immune to security breaches, so it’s vital to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Developing a comprehensive incident response plan helps you outline the steps to take in the event of a security breach. This plan should encompass communication protocols, strategies for containing the incident, and procedures for recovering from it. Being well-prepared minimizes the impact of a breach and demonstrates your commitment to cybersecurity, instilling trust among stakeholders.

7. Regular security audits

Proactive measures are essential to maintain a secure environment. Regularly conducting security audits and penetration testing helps identify vulnerabilities in your systems before cybercriminals can exploit them. Stay ahead of potential threats by identifying weaknesses and addressing them promptly. This proactive approach enhances your overall security posture. This also makes it more difficult for attackers to find and exploit vulnerabilities.

8. Employee accountability

Employees play a crucial role in your organization’s cybersecurity efforts. Hold them accountable for their actions within the digital landscape. Implement user activity monitoring and enforce strict access controls to prevent unauthorized data access. By doing so, you not only reduce the risk of insider threats but also foster a culture of responsibility and security awareness among your workforce. Employees who understand their role in protecting digital assets become valuable allies in the ongoing battle against cyber threats.

9. Vendor security assessment

If your business relies on third-party vendors or cloud services, like Continent 8, assess their security measures rigorously. Ensure they adhere to high cybersecurity standards to prevent potential vulnerabilities throughout your supply chain.

10. Cybersecurity culture

Building a cybersecurity-conscious culture is essential in safeguarding your organization’s digital assets. It involves instilling a sense of vigilance and responsibility in every employee. Encourage all team members to proactively identify and report any suspicious activities they encounter. Recognize and reward those who diligently follow security protocols, as this reinforces the importance of cybersecurity throughout the organization.

11. Continuous education

Cyber threats evolve rapidly, so it’s crucial to stay informed. Encourage your IT team to prioritize continuous education. This means keeping up-to-date with emerging threats and staying informed about the latest cybersecurity technologies. Investing in ongoing training and professional development empowers your IT professionals to effectively combat new and sophisticated cyberattacks. Knowledge is a powerful defense, and a well-informed team can proactively adapt and strengthen your organization’s security measures.

12. Incident documentation and analysis

When a security incident occurs, responding swiftly and methodically is important. After a security incident, document the event and conduct a thorough analysis. This analysis is a valuable learning tool, enabling your organization to make informed decisions about strengthening its security posture. Implement necessary measures to prevent similar incidents in the future, turning each security breach into an opportunity for growth and improved resilience.


Spotting and understanding digital impersonation through deepfakes

29 September, 2023

This educational article has been created to support you in spotting and understanding deepfakes.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

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Rise of AI/ML-driven cyber attacks: New era of cybercrime

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Rise of AI/ML-driven cyber attacks: New era of cybercrime

Patrick Gardner, Managing Partner at C8 Secure, a Continent 8 company

The rise of AI/ML-driven cyber attacks is changing the face of cybersecurity, posing new challenges for governments, companies and users.

Cyber attacks have evolved and become more sophisticated over time. At first, they focused on exploiting software and network vulnerabilities for unauthorized access or causing disruptions.

One notable example is the Morris worm, created in 1989 by Robert Morris, which was the first-ever denial-of-service (DoS) attack. While its purpose was to gauge the size of the internet, it significantly slowed down every computer it infected and caused some to crash.

This incident led to the creation of Computer Emergency Response Teams or CERTs to respond to future cyber emergencies. The Morris worm also resulted in the first conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act 1986.

The 90s saw a significant rise in communication technologies, especially the internet. However, these technologies’ lack of trust and safety controls has made them vulnerable to cyber attacks. At that time, cybercrime expanded rapidly. Attackers also developed more complex forms of viruses, and the Internet became saturated with them, as well unwanted ads and pop-ups. This, in turn, led to the development of more sophisticated antivirus software.

The new millennium witnessed more sophisticated cyber attacks, including advanced persistent threat actors (APTs) sponsored by nation-states. It caused significant damage to critical sectors of the global digital economy.

Cybersecurity has become a concern for government agencies and large corporations. There were notable cyber crimes such as the DDoS attacks by “Mafiaboy” on major commercial websites in 2000 and the data leak of 1.4 million HSBC Bank MasterCard users in 2005.

In the present, the rise of AI has influenced the evolution of cyber attacks. While AI and machine learning (ML) have revolutionized cybersecurity by providing advanced tools and techniques for threat detection and prevention, cybercriminals also leverage these technologies to launch sophisticated attacks. According to NATO, this makes AI a “huge challenge” and a “double-edged sword” for the cybersecurity industry.

Cybercriminals can exploit AI to identify weaknesses in software and security systems, generate phishing emails, design changing malware and observe user behavior undetected.

AI-powered cyber attacks

AI cyber-attacks involve cybercriminals using AI algorithms, models or tools to carry out complex and hard-to-detect cyber attacks. These attacks can be categorized into phases, including access and penetration, exploitation, command and control, surveillance and delivery, all of which may involve AI-driven techniques.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, cybersecurity firms have noticed a substantial surge in cybercrime specifically in the gaming and gambling industries. With the prevalence of AI technologies, it is possible that cybercriminals are using or will use AI-powered phishing attacks to trick players into sharing their login credentials, personal information or financial details.

Malicious actors also can develop AI-powered cheat programs or hacking tools that give players unfair game advantages, bypass security measures, manipulate in-game mechanics or exploit vulnerabilities.

This industry is not the only target of cyber attacks. In April 2018, hackers orchestrated a cyber attack on an online marketplace for freelance labor TaskRabbit, using an AI-controlled botnet. The attack targeted the website’s servers and involved a distributed DDoS technique.

The personal information of approximately 3.75 million users, including their Social Security numbers and bank account details, was compromised. The severity of the attack led to the temporary shutdown of the website until security measures could be reinstated. During this period, the breach affected an additional 141 million users.

In 2019, the popular social media platform Instagram experienced two cyber attacks. In August, numerous users discovered that their account details had been altered by hackers, denying them access to their profiles. Then, in November, a flaw in Instagram’s code resulted in a data breach. It exposed users’ passwords in the URL of their web browsers.

While Instagram has not provided extensive information regarding the hacks, there have been speculations that hackers might be utilizing AI systems to analyze Instagram user data for potential weaknesses.

Cybercriminals also have been utilizing AI voice technology to create fake audio clips that mimic a person’s voice, leading to identity theft, fraudulent phone calls and phishing emails. In March 2019, an unnamed CEO became the first reported victim of this fraud when he was scammed out of €220,000 by an AI-powered deepfake of his boss’s voice.

The Economic Times recently reported that a work-from-home scam targeted people with false job opportunities. Using AI, the scammers contact victims through missed calls on platforms like WhatsApp and pose as HR personnel from reputable Indian companies. They offer easy tasks and attractive earnings, requiring victims to click on YouTube video links, like the videos and send screenshots.

Initially, victims receive a small reward to build trust. Eventually, the scammers would then convince them to deposit larger sums with promises of higher returns and ultimately scam them out of their money.

Role of regulations in mitigating AI and ML cyber threats

Regulations play a crucial role in mitigating AI and ML cyber threats, especially in light of the increasing use of AI in cyber attacks. They set rules and standards for users, organizations and AI systems. They create boundaries that define what is legally and ethically acceptable when using AI and ML technologies. It also promotes responsible and secure practices while holding those involved accountable for their actions.

To ensure the safety of AI systems and protect fundamental rights, the European Union is working on a new law called the EU Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, which is expected to start in the second half of 2023. It will have a transitional period of 36 months before it becomes fully effective.

The Act will apply primarily to providers and users of AI systems. It introduces regulations for different categories of AI systems, including prohibited, high-risk, general-purpose, limited-risk, and non-high-risk systems.

Companies that create high-risk AI systems will have specific responsibilities, such as conducting impact assessments, implementing risk management plans, and reporting serious issues. The users of these systems will also be required to assign human oversight and report any significant incidents.

The UK has no comparable comprehensive law like the EU AI Act. In March 2023, the UK released a White Paper outlining its proposed strategy for AI regulation. The White Paper was open for consultation until June 21, 2023.

Unlike the EU Act, the UK’s approach is described as “pro-innovation.” Rather than introducing new AI legislation, the White Paper suggests implementing a principles-based framework that regulators in all sectors can adopt. This framework aims to offer flexibility in regulating AI while promoting innovation.

The future of AI

While there are significant benefits to using AI and ML in cybersecurity from a detection and prevention point of view, there are also drawbacks and challenges in the development of AI, and the concern that it will be used in an irresponsible and unethical manner. This ultimately puts companies at risk.

C8 Secure is dedicated to assisting the industry in addressing the challenges posed by AI cyberattacks. It offers essential tools and expertise to create a secure and reliable environment.

Through a comprehensive understanding of the ever-changing realm of AI cyberattacks and the tactics employed by cybercriminals, we can anticipate future threats and develop resilient safeguards.

With C8 Secure, you can confidently move forward, assured that your operations are protected against the risks posed by AI-driven cyber threats.

Learn more here


ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure can help

19 Jul, 2023

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021.



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Canadian Gaming Summit – Panel Q&A

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Canadian Gaming Summit – Panel Q&A

In June, Continent 8’s Innovation Director, David Brace, participated in a panel at the Canadian Gaming Summit.

The panel ‘Cybersecurity: managing risk in a brand new market’, delved into the lack of strategy new iGaming operators have in tackling cybercriminals and hackers. He was joined by Sunil Chand (VP Cyber & Information Security, OLG), Jarvis Pelletier (VP IT & Gaming Systems, SIGA) and Carmi Levy (Director of Comms, Step Software) as they explored lessons learned from land-based operators and outside industries in safeguarding revenue, reputation and most importantly, the customer.

The interactive and popular session included questions from the audience. Unfortunately, time ran out to answer all of these, so David has provided answers to some of the questions below.

If you had to focus and invest on only one of the following, which would you prioritize on educating and managing: Players, Staff, Device/Hardware, Other?

Staff are your biggest strength and biggest weakness when it comes to cybersecurity. In fact, human error accounts for almost 90% of all cyber incidents. No matter how advanced the technology or how detailed the processes are, they are rendered ineffective if the people using them are not adequately trained and aware. This is why cybersecurity training and awareness programs for employees are crucial.

Employees need to understand the importance of following security protocols and be aware of the potential risks, such as phishing attempts or suspicious links. In addition, the cybersecurity team itself needs to be well-trained, up-to-date with the latest threats and countermeasures, and capable of responding quickly and effectively to incidents.

What are some examples of ransomware attacks, and what was the outcome?

One of the highest-profile attacks recently was the Kaseya VSA ransomware attack, which is part of a larger trend of supply chain ransomware attacks where bad actors target software or managed service providers. In this instance, the organisation REvil used an exploit in Kaseya’s remote monitoring agent to install ransomware on devices belonging to between 800 – 3,000 different organizations. A ransom of $70m in Bitcoin was demanded for the master key to decrypt all those affected devices, it is understood that the ransom was not paid, and that Kaseya engaged a number of cybersecurity forensic organisations to assist with mitigation and decryption of the systems. It took a substantial amount of time for some organisations to fully restore their systems, indicating that those organizations did not have up-to-date or complete cybersecurity protection and playbooks.

What’s rationally more realistic in a fast-paced gaming market? Planning for the worst or trying to avoid it, which could be perceived as friction?

All organisations must find a balance when it comes to cybersecurity, if you plan for and mitigate against every eventuality, you can’t operate as a customer-facing business. This is where risk management becomes a key part of a cybersecurity strategy; organizations should be in a continuous cycle of: Identify -> Assess -> Mitigate -> Monitor -> Review.

Risk management is a key part of Assess and Mitigate phases as all organizations will hit a point where the mitigation has such an impact on business services that the risk is accepted as part of operating a successful business. Instead, as part of this acceptance of risk, many organizations will choose heightened Monitoring and Reviewing in place of full mitigation, enabling them to still operate whilst being aware of the potential risk.

With AI evolving and phishing schemes getting more authentic how can should we adapt and become more agile to minimize risk? 

As Phishing attacks are a form of social engineering, your primary method of dealing with them will always be a rolling education program for both your internal users and your external customers. Internal users should be regularly trained to identify suspicious emails and engage with the security team to validate such items. External users should be educated on your policies for handling PII, especially on the information you will not ask them to share via email or other electronic messaging.

Technology will play a part in monitoring incoming traffic and communications for suspicious activity, as with all aspects of security, it should be regularly updated and reviewed as part of the cybersecurity regimen.

Learn more about C8 Secure here.


ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure can help

19 Jul, 2023

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021.



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Cybercrime: Costly, imminent threat to banking world

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Cybercrime: Costly, imminent threat to the banking world

Patrick Gardner, Managing Partner at C8 Secure

Increased internet usage, online banking and digitalization in finance have made financial institutions vulnerable to cybercrime and cyber attacks. 

The year 2022 saw several significant cyber incidents in the finance industry. On April 17, Beanstalk Farms, a decentralized finance platform, lost $180 million in a cryptocurrency heist. On April 11, the FakeCalls banking trojan was discovered, capable of talking to victims and impersonating bank employees. CashMama, an India-based loans app, reported a data breach on April 6. The breach exposed customer data that was collected and stored.

Lazarus was discovered to be using ‘Trojanized’ decentralized finance apps to deliver malware in a spearphishing campaign on April 1, 2022. While the largest bank in Russia, Sberbank and the Moscow Stock Exchange, both suffered DDoS attacks on February 28, 2022, resulting in their websites being shut down.

In 2022, data breaches in the United States cost an average of $9.44 million. The financial sector experienced a significant impact, with the cost of data breaches in this sector reaching $5.97 million globally.

Cyber attack data indicates financial phishing attacks represented 36.3 percent of total global attacks 2022. In the same year, investment fraud became the most costly form of cybercrime, resulting in an average loss of $70,811 per victim.

Types of cybercrime threats to banking industry

Cybercriminals often use various cybercrimes to bypass security and take advantage of vulnerabilities.

Phishing attacks and social engineering

Phishing attacks involve attackers posing as trustworthy entities, such as banks, online services or reputable organizations, to deceive people into sharing sensitive information.

These attacks usually take place through fraudulent emails, text messages or websites.

Phishing exampleIn a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam, cybercriminals send fake emails that seem to originate from a trustworthy source, like the CEO or a reliable supplier. The emails are designed to imitate the organization’s communication style and contain convincing appeals for fund transfers, invoice payments or confidential data. The scammers may also alter the email header or use fake email addresses to make the emails seem authentic.

With the use of AI-powered chatbots on the rise, experts warn that it may also make it easier for fraudulent phishing emails to bypass fundamental defense mechanisms, such as spelling and grammatical error detection. It is because chatbots can generate more sophisticated and convincing messages that can fool users into thinking they are legitimate.

Cybercriminals use social engineering to persuade people to reveal sensitive information or perform actions that jeopardize security. Unlike technical hacking methods that exploit computer systems’ vulnerabilities, social engineering targets human psychology to exploit trust, authority or ignorance.

Social engineering tactics involve various techniques, such as pretexting (fabricating a scenario to extract information), baiting (leaving infected physical devices to lure victims) or tailgating (gaining physical access to restricted areas by following authorized people).

Malware and ransomware

Malicious software, also known as malware, poses a significant threat to banking systems and networks. Cybercriminals use various types of malware to exploit vulnerabilities in banking systems.

Banking Trojans are malware created to steal users’ banking credentials and other sensitive data. These Trojans work by intercepting login credentials or manipulating online banking transactions to redirect funds to the attacker’s account.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are not considered traditional malware, but they involve flooding a banking system or network with an excessive amount of traffic, rendering it inaccessible to authorized users.

These attacks can disrupt online banking services. It causes inconvenience to customers and creates opportunities for cybercriminals to carry out other malicious activities.

For banking systems, ransomware attacks can freeze operations, block access to important data and interrupt financial transactions until the ransom is paid.

ATM and card skimming

ATM and card skimming is a prevalent cybercrime targeting banking customers using automated teller machines (ATMs) and payment card systems. Cybercriminals put skimming devices on ATMs or payment terminals to covertly record card data. These devices can be placed on the card slot or inside the ATM.

Besides skimming devices, criminals may also attach small cameras or overlays on ATM keypads to record customers’ PINs as they enter them.

By obtaining stolen card data and PINs, criminals can generate counterfeit cards or use the information for unauthorized transactions, such as cash withdrawals or fraudulent purchases.

Sophisticated cyber attack

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are targeted and sophisticated cyber attacks that pose a significant danger to financial institutions.

Typically, well-resourced and skilled threat actors, such as state-sponsored groups or organized cybercriminal organizations, conduct APTs. These attacks are identified by their secretive nature, extended duration and continuous persistence in compromising a target’s systems and networks.

The SolarWinds Sunburst attack, detected in 2020 and had far-reaching consequences through 2021, is one of the most popular APTs in recent times. Another recent APT is Aquatic Panda, believed to be affiliated with China.

According to MITRE’s ATT&CK database, it has been active since at least May 2020. It gathered intelligence and conducted industrial espionage in the technology, telecom and government sectors.

Costly implications for financial institutions

Cybercriminals can make unauthorized transactions such as fund transfers, withdrawals or purchases once they can access someone’s bank account or payment card information. It can lead to direct monetary losses for the victim, with the stolen funds being removed from their account without their permission.

Law enforcement agencies or specialized cybersecurity firms are often hired to investigate cases of fraud or theft. Such investigations require time, resources and expertise to collect evidence, pursue suspects and construct a legal case. The expenses involved in investigations can accumulate, particularly in complex cases that span multiple jurisdictions.

Financial institutions may also have to take legal action to recoup losses, bring criminals to justice, or protect themselves from liability claims. It entails retaining legal representation, initiating lawsuits, attending legal proceedings and participating in settlement discussions.

Legal actions can be lengthy and costly, involving various fees, such as court, attorney and other related expenses.

A bank’s reputation is vital for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. If news of fraudulent activities or data breaches becomes public, it can damage the bank’s reputation and create negative perceptions in the market.

Customers who have lost faith in a bank’s security may close their accounts and move their business to another institution. They may prefer to use alternative financial institutions that they consider superior security measures.

To combat the costly implications of cybercrime, financial institutions must adopt a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that aligns with industry best practices. By partnering with C8 Secure, online businesses in the banking industry can have peace of mind knowing that a trusted security partner is safeguarding their infrastructure and data.

“We realized an immediate return on our investment and greatly enhanced our threat detection and remediation capabilities utilizing C8 Secure’s Managed Security Services,” said Roland V. Oscuro, CISO Philippines National Bank.

C8 Secure implements a comprehensive security strategy comprising many layers of protection. Designed with tomorrow’s needs in mind, C8 Secure protects from the edge through to the endpoint and cloud. This includes, managed SIEM/SOC, EDR and MDR, DDoS and Web Application Attack Protection (WAAP), ensuring the resilience of critical infrastructure.

Learn more about C8 Secure here.


Securing a decentralized future: The importance of cybersecurity in Web3

7 Jun, 2023

The dawn of the decentralized web is upon us, and the rise of Web3 technology is a testament to this fact. Web3 is an alternative to today’s highly censored internet and is becoming increasingly popular, which calls for urgent measures to ensure that the foundation of this revolution remains secure and trustworthy.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

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ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure, can help

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ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure, can help

Craig Lusher, Senior Product Specialist – Secure, Continent 8 Technologies

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021. The threat actors, backed by China, have been using chatbots to target customer support agents of these companies. This article will discuss the ChattyGoblin threat in detail and highlight how Continent 8 and C8 Secure’s products and services can help protect our customers in the iGaming industry.

The ChattyGoblin campaign was first identified by researchers at ESET. The threat actors primarily rely on Comm100 (first identified by CrowdStrike) and LiveHelp apps to carry out their attacks. In one particular attack in March 2023, a chatbot was used to target a gambling company in the Philippines. The initial dropper deployed by the attackers was written in C#, named agentupdate_plugins.exe, and was downloaded by the LiveHelp100 chat application. The dropper deploys a second executable based on the SharpUnhooker tool, which then downloads the ChattyGoblin attack’s second stage, stored in a password-protected ZIP archive. The final payload is a Cobalt Strike beacon using duckducklive[.]top as its C&C server.

The ChattyGoblin campaign is a clear example of the evolving threat landscape in the Asian iGaming industry. As the industry changes and evolves in the region, so do the motives and techniques of threat actors. This is where our products and services come into play.

We offer a range of cybersecurity solutions that can help protect our customers from threats like ChattyGoblin. Our Security Operations Center (SOC) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) services provide round-the-clock monitoring and threat detection. By continuously monitoring network traffic and analysing event data, our SOC/SIEM services can identify suspicious activities and respond to threats in real-time, thereby preventing or minimising damage.

In addition to our SOC/SIEM services, our Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services provide comprehensive protection for endpoints. These services can detect and respond to threats on endpoints, such as workstations and servers, where the ChattyGoblin attack initiates. By monitoring endpoints and responding to threats quickly, we can prevent the initial dropper from deploying and stop the attack in its track and before it moves laterally.

Furthermore, our Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) service can protect web applications and APIs, which are often targeted in attacks like ChattyGoblin. By protecting these critical assets, we can prevent threat actors from exploiting vulnerabilities and gaining access to our customers’ systems.

The ChattyGoblin campaign and other similar Artificial Intelligence (AI) based attacks represent a significant threat to the iGaming industry. However, with the right security measures in place, this threat can be effectively managed. At Continent 8, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest level of protection. Our SOC/SIEM, EDR/MDR, and WAAP services are designed to detect and respond to threats quickly and effectively, ensuring our customers can operate safely and securely.

As we continue to navigate the evolving threat landscape, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve. This requires not only robust security measures but also a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation.

At Continent 8 and through C8 Secure we are dedicated to staying at the forefront of cybersecurity trends and threats, ensuring we can provide customers in the iGaming industry with the most effective and up-to-date protection. As part of this commitment, we will continue to monitor and analyse threats like ChattyGoblin, adapting our services as necessary to provide the best possible protection for our customers.


Securing a decentralized future: The importance of cybersecurity in Web3

7 Jun, 2023

The dawn of the decentralized web is upon us, and the rise of Web3 technology is a testament to this fact. Web3 is an alternative to today’s highly censored internet and is becoming increasingly popular, which calls for urgent measures to ensure that the foundation of this revolution remains secure and trustworthy.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

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Securing a decentralized future: The importance of cybersecurity in Web3

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Securing a decentralized future: The importance of cybersecurity in Web3

Patrick Gardner, Managing Partner at C8 Secure, a Continent 8 company

The dawn of the decentralized web is upon us, and the rise of Web3 technology is a testament to this fact. Web3 is an alternative to today’s highly censored internet and is becoming increasingly popular, which calls for urgent measures to ensure that the foundation of this revolution remains secure and trustworthy.

The emergence of Web3 technology has created an opportunity for financial technology (Fintech) companies to innovate and provide new services like decentralized finance (DeFi) networks, decentralized social trading systems, asset tokenization, cross-border payment solutions and smart contracts.

It is expected that the Web3 market will reach a cumulative valuation of $81.5 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 43.7%. However, since Fintech has started to catch up with the growing popularity of Web3 technology, cybersecurity, especially, has become a significant concern.

Propelled by blockchain technology and decentralized networks, Web3 envisions a world where users have full control over their data, decentralization fosters inclusivity, and intermediaries no longer dictate terms of use. However, despite the robust security measures associated with these technologies, numerous nefarious third-party entities have infiltrated blockchain systems. In 2021 alone, $2 billion was lost due to various blockchain protocols being hacked. Additionally, over the first three-quarters of 2022, bad actors were able to gross more than $3 billion as part of 125+ compromises.

These numbers are concerning as they suggest that despite the belief that cryptocurrency blockchain systems possess top defenses, they are not immune to attacks. Hackers can continue to use various attack vectors, such as smart contract exploits, phishing, and rug pulls, to inflict significant financial damage to crypto users globally.

As the Web3 market continues to grow, there is a need for a more collaborative approach to cybersecurity for Fintechs. With C8 Secure, developers can delegate security concerns when building Web3 applications so they can focus on other aspects like tokenomics and regulatory complexities.

How Web3 impacts cybersecurity

As the Fintech industry increasingly adopts Web3 technologies, it can realize significant cybersecurity benefits if implemented correctly. These benefits have the potential to fundamentally change the way we approach security and privacy in the digital realm. A few key advantages Web3 offers are decentralization of data across multiple nodes in a blockchain, data immutability, transparency and traceability, self-sovereign identities, privacy preserving technologies and trustless environments.

At the same time, Web3 also poses new challenges for cybersecurity. For instance, smart contracts on a blockchain can have security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit including re-entrancy attacks, integer overflow, and underflow, among others. Once deployed on the blockchain, these contracts are immutable, meaning errors cannot be easily fixed, making rigorous testing and auditing crucial.

In addition, cybercriminals can exploit smart contracts through social engineering attacks, such as phishing, that trick users into giving their private keys or other credentials. Because of its popularity, cryptocurrency phishing has become a separate category of cybercrime with a 40% YoY increase.

In late December, it was reported that a record-breaking $3.7 billion was stolen in digital-asset-related attacks. Hackers stole $3.4 million worth of GMX tokens from a DeFi user in early January.

These security risks require Web3 Fintech companies to ensure their smart contract solutions are thoroughly tested and audited by trusted cybersecurity providers, like C8 Secure. Emphasizing secure coding practices, comprehensive auditing, continuous monitoring and layered threat prevention controls are vital to mitigating these risks

Another attack type that can harm blockchain networks is the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Blockchain DDoS attack happens when the attacker overwhelms the network with excessive traffic, eventually blocking legitimate transactions.

If a crypto exchange is under a DDoS attack, it will see a decreased trading volume. An exchange could lose $21,000 per hour when an attack stops all trading activity. A significant volume of DDoS traffic originates from SSDP amplification and application layer attacks.

Continent 8 Technologies has been protecting its customers from DDoS attacks for almost two decades. In fact, in December 2022 it observed one of the longest sustained attacks that the internet has ever seen. It lasted for an incredible nine days against 145 different customers.

C8 Secure offers various measures to prevent DDoS attacks, including upstream filtering on a large scale, network edge filtering, and volumetric DDoS scrubbing based on thresholds and ratios. With these combined solutions, C8 Secure can effectively mitigate large-scale attacks and provide top-notch protection.

Deterring Web3 cyber attacks

Although blockchain networks have distributed protection, they are not entirely resistant to cyber threats. Most often than not, especially against DDoS, their robustness depends on the number of nodes, diversity, and hash rate in the network. Implementing measures like regular audits, vulnerability scans, and application testing – services that companies such as C8 Secure offer – can help uncover potential exposure points and reinforce network security.

While it’s true that a decentralized network is more resistant to integrity attacks, the associated applications with more traditional cybersecurity weaknesses are not. Vulnerabilities can reside in several areas: attackers can exploit weaknesses in code, discover software vulnerabilities in web applications and APIs, take advantage of flaws in the container or cloud workload configurations, and even deploy bots to launch credential stuffing and DDoS attacks.

For many Fintechs, the expansion of Web3 raises security concerns, despite the technology’s immutable and transparent ledger and complex consensus protocols. To reduce these risks and operate safely in Web3 while complying with various regulations, Fintech can turn to cybersecurity companies.

For example, cybersecurity companies can offer solutions that analyze large amounts of on- and off-chain crypto data to detect fraudulent behavior and flag suspicious wallets. Such companies can also develop secure and robust code that automates financial processes in Web3 and the broader financial sphere.

That’s why partnering up with an established cybersecurity solutions provider, like C8 Secure, who alongside Continent 8 Technologies has over 25 years of experience protecting many of the most targeted sectors, will take your security posture to another level.

Learn more about C8 Secure’s solutions, here.


5 Steps to Reduce Your Risk of a Ransomware Attack

23 Feb, 2023

Listening to the news, you would be correct in being concerned about the extreme levels of ransomware attacks across the world. And, more importantly, whether your company is prepared to weather such an attack.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

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The Current State of Cybercrime; the Role of AI in Cybersecurity

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Artificial Intelligence

The Current State of Cybercrime; the Role of AI in Cybersecurity

Cybercrime is a constantly evolving threat that affects people and organisations of all sizes. In 2022, cyberattacks increased by 38% according to Check Point research, further compounding the growth of 300% seen in 2020, with iGaming and e-commerce businesses being the primary targets. Cybercriminals use a variety of techniques to gain unauthorised access to sensitive information, such as phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks. The consequences of these attacks can be devastating, including loss of data, financial damage, and reputational harm.

With the growing complexity of cybercrime, traditional cybersecurity measures like firewalls and antivirus software are no longer enough. Cybersecurity experts are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and advance cybersecurity defences such as XDR and managed SOC/SIEM to help detect and prevent cyber threats. But, AI technology is a double-edged sword that can both aid cybercriminals and help prevent cyber attacks.

How Artificial Intelligence is Aiding Cybercriminals

AI technology is making it easier for cybercriminals to launch sophisticated attacks. For example, AI-powered bots can be used to automate phishing attacks, making it easier to target a large number of people at once with very personalised approaches. These bots can analyse social media profiles and other online data to create targeted and personalised messages that appears legitimate and are more likely to be opened and clicked on.

In addition, AI can be used to create deepfakes, which are fake images, videos or audio recordings that are indistinguishable from real ones. Famously, deepfakes have been used to simulate voices of singers such as The Weekend and Drake and also the actor Bruce Willis in a Russian mobile phone commercial, but it can be used to impersonate people in authority within a company, such as a CEO or network administrators or even used to spread false information, which can be used for malicious purposes.

Another way AI is aiding cybercriminals is through the use of machine learning algorithms. These algorithms can be used to analyse large datasets and identify vulnerabilities in software systems, which can then be exploited by cybercriminals.

Examples of AI-Powered Cyber Attacks

AI-powered cyber attacks are becoming more common, and their impact can be devastating. One example is the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack, which affected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries. The attack was carried out using an AI-powered worm that was able to spread rapidly and infect vulnerable systems.

Another example is the use of AI-powered bots to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks involve overwhelming a website or server with traffic, making it inaccessible. AI-powered bots can generate massive amounts of traffic, which can be used to take down even the most secure websites. Read about Continent 8’s experience over Christmas and World Cup 2022.

Impact of AI on Cybersecurity and How C8 Secure Use This Technology

While AI technology is making it easier for cybercriminals to launch attacks, it’s also being used to prevent them. C8 Secure’s AI-powered cybersecurity solutions, including our Cloud WAAP (Web Application and API Protection), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and XDR (Extended Detection and Response) solutions, can analyse vast amounts of data in real-time and identify anomalous behaviour and potential threats before they occur.

C8 Secure use AI-powered anomaly detection and security analytics in C8 Secure’s SIEM and Cloud WAAP, which can identify unusual behaviour on a network or website that could indicate a cyber attack and alert our cybersecurity experts in real-time. This technology can learn from past attacks and adapt to new threats, making it a powerful tool for cybersecurity experts. C8 Secure’s WAAP can also run vulnerability scans against the website it protects, and suggests additional rules and configuration to harden the existing protection – essentially configuring itself! This is an important feature in the world of DevOps with CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery). This concept helps businesses deliver new, working features earlier and more frequently. They can do this safe in the knowledge that C8 Secure’s WAAP offers blanket protection of their website.

C8 Secure’s AI-powered XDR (Extended Endpoint Protection and Response (anti-virus on steroids)), can detect and prevent malware attacks on individual devices. Our solution can analyse patterns of behaviour on a device and identify potential threats in real-time.

Ethics and Concerns Around AI and Cybercrime

While AI technology has the potential to revolutionise cybersecurity, it also raises ethical concerns. For example, AI-powered cybersecurity solutions can be used to monitor employees and collect sensitive information about them. This raises questions about privacy and the use of personal data.

Another concern is the potential for AI-powered cyber attacks to cause widespread damage. As AI technology becomes more advanced, cybercriminals may be able to launch attacks that are more sophisticated and harder to detect. This could lead to widespread disruption and chaos. This will require cybersecurity experts to constantly adapt and develop new technologies to stay ahead of cybercriminals.

Preparing for the Future of Cybercrime

To prepare for the future of cybercrime with AI, organisations need to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity. This means investing in AI-powered cybersecurity solutions that can detect and prevent cyber threats in real-time – like C8 Secure’s WAAP, SIEM and XDR solutions.

Organisations also need to prioritise cybersecurity training for employees, as human error and compromised credentials are a common cause of cyber attacks. In fact, according to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breaches Investigations Report, human error is responsible for a massive 82% of data breaches. Therefore, companies need to include training on how to identify phishing emails, create strong passwords, and use security software effectively.

Finally, organisations need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. This means having a plan in place for how to respond to a cyber attack, including how to recover lost data and how to communicate with stakeholders. C8 Secure’s Cloud backup service combined with the managed XDR and SIEM solution can help detect, prevent and recover from cyber attacks, including ransomware.


AI technology is changing the game when it comes to cybercrime. While it’s making it easier for cybercriminals to launch attacks, it’s also being used to prevent them. As AI technology becomes more advanced, we can expect to see both more sophisticated cyber attacks and more powerful cybersecurity solutions.

To stay ahead of the curve, organisations need to take cybersecurity seriously and invest in the latest AI-powered technologies. By doing so, they can protect themselves from the ever-evolving threat of cybercrime and stay ahead of cybercriminals.

Are you protected? C8 Secure has full spectrum cyber security solutions to defend your infrastructure against a growing number of threats. Contact info@ to learn more and speak to one of our experts.


5 Steps to Reduce Your Risk of a Ransomware Attack

23 Feb, 2023

Listening to the news, you would be correct in being concerned about the extreme levels of ransomware attacks across the world. And, more importantly, whether your company is prepared to weather such an attack.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started