The share of cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure, which is behind a state, has increased from 20 to 40 percent of all attacks detected by Microsoft, according to the global company’s report on cybercrime for the period from July 2021 to June this year. .
That spike was partly the result of Russia’s aim to damage Ukraine’s infrastructure and aggressive espionage targeting of Ukraine’s allies, including the US. Russia has also stepped up its efforts to compromise IT companies to disrupt their operations or obtain intelligence from their clients, government agencies in NATO member countries, according to Microsoft.
As much as 90 percent of the Russian attacks observed by that company during the past year were aimed at NATO member states, and 48 percent at IT companies located in NATO member countries.
Along with Russia, Iran, North Korea and China are singled out from the countries that use cyber attacks.
According to the report, the Iranians have launched attacks targeting Israel and ransomware and hack-and-leak operations against adversaries outside the region, including the US and the EU. Microsoft, for example, discovered a ransomware attack whose goal was to wipe Israeli data, and in another case, an Iranian hacker carried out an attack that set off emergency sirens in Israel.
North Korea is said in the report to have been behind a series of attacks aimed at stealing technology from airline companies and research companies around the world, as well as often unsuccessful break-ins into cryptocurrency companies.
China has increased its cyber attacks aimed at espionage and information theft as it seeks to exert greater regional influence in Southeast Asia and counter growing interest from the US. China has also used its cyber capabilities in campaigns targeting nations across the southern hemisphere, including Namibia, Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago, the report said.
Microsoft also noted that Russia used various online operations to present its invasion of Ukraine as justified, as well as to discredit Western vaccines against covid and promote the effectiveness of its own vaccines. Microsoft has also noted a growing overlap between these operations and cyberattacks.
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[…] to Q1 2019. Furthermore, the share of cyberattacks targeting states’ critical infrastructure increased from 20 percent to 40 percent of all attacks detected by Microsoft between July 2021 to June 2022. These figures paint a stark picture, and the unfortunate reality is […]