Cyberattacks to hijack data doubled in the last six months | Technology
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data hijacking or ransomware It is one of the most feared cyberthreats, especially in the professional field, where the information is more sensitive and often essential for the functioning of the organization or the company (when not decisive for its security). Over the past six months, variants of this technique, in which cybercriminals encrypt data and demand a ransom to release it, have nearly doubled. That is what determines the Global Threat Index prepared by Fortinet, a cybersecurity company from the United States.
“The ransomware it remains one of the main threats and cybercriminals continue to invest significant resources in new attack techniques”, explains in the report. In half a year the company has registered 10,666 variants compared to 5,400 in the previous semester.
Teleworking has contributed to the growth of this type of attack since the start of the covid-19 pandemic. José Luis Laguna, director of engineering at Fortinet Iberia, explains: “We telework a lot and, in most cases, the devices we use are connected to poorly protected networks. The mobile, tablet or work computer that you use at home is not connected to the work network, which could also be attacked, but at home these devices are easier to attack and that is why cyber attackers concentrate their efforts there” .
Also contributing to the rise of data hijacking variants, according to the company, is the ransomware as a service (ransomware-as-a-Service, Raas), which has been gaining popularity on the dark web or dark web. As if it were Netflix, developers offer subscription models that allow criminals with less (or no) experience to carry out a targeted cyberattack and become consumers. “Just as your favorite subscription service offers you series, order food delivery or visit a place, the raas allow criminals access to ransomware and other malicious programs for a monthly payment or a commission”, he details. Despite the efforts and actions at the international level that are carried out to deal with these crimes, they continue to constitute a significant threat to organizations, regardless of their size.
“Instead of attacking like mad, cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and their efforts more targeted. Instead of sending a ransomware to whoever and trust that he will pay, now they decide who they want to attack”, insists Laguna.
The number of disk deletions has also multiplied in the first half of the year, which, according to the company’s representative, is not aimed at extortion, but rather “to do as much damage as possible”. Fortinet has identified seven major disk wipe threats in the first half of the year. Though a priori It may be a tiny figure, it is the same number of deletion variants identified from 2012 to last year. What has triggered such growth in this case has been the invasion of Ukraine. Although difficult for investigators to determine with complete confidence, the perpetrators are often Russian sympathizers with military objectives and a clear sabotage intent.
The victims of these erasures are usually government or military agencies and Ukrainian organizations. Of course, what is striking about these attacks is that, since the invasion began last February, more threats have been detected outside Ukraine than there, although they are also related to the war.
Faced with cyber threats, which do nothing more than evolve and try to dodge the defense mechanisms of the systems, the analysis confirms the importance of artificial intelligence to be able to deal with dangers in a more efficient way: “Organizations need security operations that can run at machine speed to keep up with the volume, sophistication and pace of today’s cyber threats,” summarizes the text, which also stresses how necessary cybersecurity awareness and training are for both employees and security teams are aware of the dangers. “Cybercriminals are never going to let an opportunity pass them by. Whether it is a vulnerability or a war, there is always going to be someone trying to do harm for a benefit,” the report concludes.
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