Sun, February 25, 2024

Ransomware attacks at record high in 2022

Ransomware Attacks at Record High in 2022

Ransomware attacks against industrial organizations skyrocketed in 2022. Research shows that the number has increased by an astounding 87%. The manufacturing sector is the prime target for harmful malware. 

The cybersecurity firm Dragos Inc, reports that hackers preyed on mining industries based in Australia and New Zealand. Consequently, they shifted their focus to the US and the European Union. Attackers also targeted the natural and electrical sectors. 

Robert M. Lee is Dragos’ chief executive officer. He pinpointed the hackers’ particular interest in causing damage to manufacturing companies over messing with oil or gas sectors.

Dragos also determined that a single hacking tool was powerful enough to vandalize many systems. These systems are the backbone of global electricity infrastructure, water companies, and gas pipelines. The infamous Pipedream malware, associated with the notorious group Chernovite, is still considered a threat to different industries. 

Attacks that coincide with geopolitical conflicts raise cyber security questions

Dragos also noted the connection between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and increased malware threats and later attacks. While the attackers’ plans to jeopardize the energy sector and critical infrastructure fell through, an unnamed Ukrainian power company still suffered greatly. 

The company recommended organizations devise effective retaliation strategies. Also, keeping an eye on their infrastructure and enforce secure, two-factor authentication access to their systems.

The news comes after other findings indicate a decline in effective extortion-related attacks. Despite the increased number of ransomware attacks, payments to aggressors have significantly dropped after 2021. Moreover, victims sent $765.5 million in 2021, cutting it down to $456.8 million in 2022, reports blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis Inc.

More recently, ransomware attacks hit Arizona and Massachusetts. This interrupted derivatives training and impeded public school systems. There is no evidence that the attacks will continue furthermore. Moreover, the more they continue, the more under turbulence the affected tech sector will find itself.

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