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Cybersecurity researchers investigated conversations between hackers and analyzed trending topics on one of the dark web’s largest hacker forums and compiled a list of the top five cybersecurity risks set to dominate next year.

The researchers from NordVPN find that a good way to predict the evolving online threat landscape is monitoring the conversation taking place between cybercriminals on the dark web forums, stating: “The more accuracy with which we anticipate emerging risks, the better we can prepare for them.”

According to Cybernews and NordVPN, these are the cybercrime trends of 2024:

The most popular form of cybercrime and cyber abuse was leaked nude photographs and videos, with threads discussing the sharing and hacking of nudes being among the top 20 forum threads. The researchers explain that as internet users and celebrities store more private data on the cloud, hackers have more opportunities to steal sensitive imagery from their victims and use it against them.

Another expected threat is AI-assisted cybercrime. Cybercriminals are already using deepfakes for malicious purposes, but other forms of AI-assisted cybercrime could be improved spelling and grammar of phishing emails.

Another trend is amateur hackers– with numerous posts on dark web forums of people wanting to learn or teach others how to perform cyberattacks, some of the most active forum threads being “How to dox,” “How to hack WhatsApp of your friend by sending a single link,” “How to instantly crack TikTok accounts easily,” and “Wi-Fi hacking course.” The researchers add that with the growing awareness of cybersecurity threats comes a new generation of would-be hackers hoping to make money from phishing, spreading malware, and stealing data.

The researchers also claim that the sales of stolen data are only expected to increase, with “approximately 55%” of discussion threads focusing on leaked customer data which indicates an expected growth in value. Such stolen information includes social media credentials, driver’s licenses, home addresses, personal email addresses, and much more.

Another dangerous pressing threat is attempts of cybercriminals to bypass biometric authentication like facial recognition or fingerprint. Using biometric authentication for an extra layer of security is becoming increasingly popular, but unfortunately hackers are quickly learning to get around these defenses. The researchers even found a popular post giving instructions on how to bypass selfie verification.