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2021 Cyber Security Report

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Amid COVID-19 in 2020, The World Faced Another Pandemic – And It Keeps Spreading

The new normal landscape has generated a surge of sophisticated Gen V cyber-attacks. As organizations adapted to remote work, and all the digital implications from it, cyber criminals have seized the global crisis to launch a series of large scale cyber exploits.

Double Extortion
Ramping Up

Double extortion refers to a multi-stage ransomware attack that emerged in late 2019. It combines encryption of the victim’s files – the ‘traditional’ ransomware attack – with a threat to release sensitive corporate files to the public unless the ransom payment is paid within the designated timeframe. The attackers collect the files when they gain access to the victim’s network, prior to the encryption stage. Double Extortion becomes a “new normal” tactic in targeted attacks on all sectors.

Maze Ransomware – Double Extortion Attack | Check Point Software
Pay2Key- The Plot Thickens

Hacker Double Extortion

Remote Access Attacks

Remote Access Vulnerabilities

  • COVID-19 shifted a substantial portion of businesses to employees’ home offices
  • Increase in attacks against remote access technologies
  • RDP was the most popular intrusion vector
  • Approximately a million attack attempts against RDP connections per day

“HellCare” – Have Health Care Attacks gone too far?

  • A sharp increase in helthcare-sector attacks
  • Increase in Ryuk ransomware attacks on US hospitals
  • Nation-sponsored APT groups targeting institutions involved in COVID-19 treatment and vaccine development

Healthcare Organization Attacks

Top Global Malware Families

Many malware families were able to maintain their global rank from 2019, with only slight movements up or down. AgentTesla and Formbook, two commodity info-stealers, climbed from the lower ranks to the top five. Drive-by Cryptominers like Cryptoloot, moved down or dropped from the top 10 altogether.

Top Global Malware Chart

Privilege Escalation in the Cloud

Privilege Escalation
in the Cloud

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a systematic shift in corporate network architecture. The urgent need for remotely administered, agile, and scalable networks has accelerated moves to a cloud infrastructure, which allows flexibility in scale and resource management, and is accessible from anywhere. Attackers have taken note of this massive migration to hybrid cloud technologies, Essentially, there is a shift to attacking cloud accounts instead of cloud resources.

From COVID-19 to
Zero-Click Attacks

The increased use of mobile devices during the lockdown and social distancing may also be responsible for the substantial growth in banking Trojan malware families.
As well as the introduction of several malicious applications masquerading as legitimate coronavirus-related apps, there was increasing concern over data privacy issues in the official tracking applications developed by national governments.

The Achilles family of vulnerabilities revealed more than 400 weaknesses in a Qualcomm chip

Iranian Rampant Kitten APT, threat actor used a combination of fake mobile applications, Windows infostealers, and Telegram phishing pages

Zero-Click Attacks

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