Cyber-attacks: “Hacktivism”; the #1 risk and the new trends

Cyber-attacks: "Hacktivism"; the #1 risk and the new trends
© Shutterstock Cyber-attacks: “Hacktivism”; the #1 risk and the new trends

“Check Point Research (CPR)”, the Threat Intelligence division of “Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP)” —the world’s leading provider of cyber security solutions— released its “Cyber ​​Attack Trends: 2022 Mid-Year Report” report, which highlights how cyber attacks have become a state-level weapon —including the new method “ransomware” “Country Extortion” and “hacktivism” linked to government issues— as well as the expansion of “ransomware” as the number one threat.

In addition to detailing the evolution of cyberattacks into state-level weapons —complementing any classic military conflict— and the rise of “ransomware” used in national-level attacks for economic and social gain, the report also examines the growth of attacks on cloud supply chain through new module sources in the “open source” community.

Updated industry and geopolitical cyber attack statistics, as well as advice and forecasts for the rest of 2022 —including an incident response analysis that explores the full life cycle of a cyber attack— present a comprehensive view of how by which cyber-attacks have led to significant disruption, causing real damage to urban and cyber life in 2022.

“The war in Ukraine dominated the headlines in the first half of 2022 and we can only hope that it will soon have a peaceful conclusion,”

said Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software.

“Its impact in cyberspace has been dramatic, both in scope and scale. We have seen a huge increase in cyber-attacks against organizations in all sectors and all countries this year. Unfortunately, this will only get worse, especially with ransomware now the number one threat to organizations. However, with the right expertise, strategy and cybersecurity solutions, companies are able to prevent attacks.”

Top predictions for H2 highlighted in the report include:

  • “Ransomware” will become a much more fragmented ecosystem; while “ransomware” groups have become more structured and operate like normal businesses, with specific targets to hit; we should take a lesson from the “ransomware Conti” group, whose size and power attracted too much attention, which led to her downfall. In the future, we believe there will be many small-medium groups, rather than a few large ones, so that they can more effectively hide in plain sight.
  • More diversified email infection chains; due to the implementation of web macros, which are blocked by default in “Microsoft Office”, more sophisticated malware families will accelerate the development of new infection chains, with different password-protected file types for avoiding detection as sophisticated social engineering attacks increase.
  • “Hacktivism” will continue to evolve; “hacktivist” groups will continue to align their attacks with the agenda of their state of choice; especially as the Russia-Ukraine war is still ongoing.
  • Continued attacks on “blockchain” decentralized networks with first attacks expected on the “Metaverse”; with major incidents related to “blockchain” platforms such as the “Rarible” market vulnerability, or the “ApeCoin Airdrop” vulnerability; we expect to see continued attempts by hackers to breach and steal crypto assets. Additionally, we believe we will see initial attacks in the “Metaverse” that exploit smart contract vulnerabilities.

The report “Cyber ​​Attack Trends: 2022 Mid-Year Report” provides a detailed overview of the cyber threat landscape. The findings are based on data pulled from “Check Point Software’s ThreatCloud Intelligence” between January and June 2022, highlighting the key tactics cybercriminals use to attack businesses.

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