By Liran Tzah
Leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election on November 8th, Cytegic’s Dynamic Trend Analysis (DyTA) platform processed and analyzed hundreds of thousands of data points from multiple sources dating back to 2015. As we look at the threat and attack landscape spanning similar events over this time period we witness interesting and noteworthy trends. These trends are good indicators for what we expect to see as the 2016 election nears.
Here are some of the top trends and patterns that we identified based around similar political events:
- As politically motivated events near, we notice an increase in financially-driven cyber activity that targets the government, banking and finance sectors. Bank accounts, payment cards, available services to clients and client data are expected to be the primary targets. We expect to see a steady increase in the use of Email Social Engineering attacks, Ransomware, Trojans and DDoS attacks.
- Political activists and nation-state attackers are likely to attempt attacks on high-profile targets in the government, media, defense and military sectors. Websites and services to clients will most likely be the primary target with polling databases and services to voters having the highest risk on the day of the election and a few days before.
- We expect the following risks to be especially high around before and leading up to the election :
- Personally identifiable information (PII) leakage amid potential financially driven cyber-attacks and potential politically driven attacks on voter databases.
- Nation-backed cyber espionage, especially from Russia.
- In case of a physical terror attack or a high security alert, politically-driven cyber activity is to increase substantially, targeting the defense sector as well.
It is also important to note that, we witness a brief but steady increase in activity from financial and political hackers within a week after a major political event.
Most of this activity peaks from the day of the political event through the first few days with email social engineering attacks and ransomware being widely utilized. Like the weeks leading up to the event, the government, banking and finance sectors are primarily targeted, though in lower volume.
To learn more about the specifics of our forecasts and learn how you can best safeguard your organization, please download the full report here.