Lockbit3 leads ransomware surge in the first half of the year; Unconventional targets surface amid new attack patterns
Check Point Research’ s 2023 Mid-Year Security report reveals an unsettling 8% surge in global weekly cyberattacks in the second quarter, the most significant increase in two years. This showcases how attackers have cunningly combined next-gen AI technologies with long-established tools like USB devices to conduct disruptive cyberattacks.
Even legacy technology such as USB storage devices, which have long been gathering dust in desk drawers, have gained popularity as a malware messenger.”Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software.
The report also showcases how ransomware attacks have escalated with a new ransomware groups coming into the scene.
From the triple extortion attack on the University of Manchester to the rise of new group Anonymous Sudan targeting western organizations, the 2023 Mid-Year Security Report uncovers the trends and behaviors that have defined the year so far.
In H1 2023, 48 ransomware groups have breached over 2,200 victims, with Lockbit3 being the most active, reporting a 20% increase in victims compared to H1 2022. The emergence of new groups like Royal and Play is associated with the termination of Hive and Conti Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) groups. In terms of geography, 45% of victims are in the US, with an unexpected rise in Russian entities due to the novel actor “MalasLocker”, which substitutes ransom demands with charitable donations. The manufacturing and retail sectors have seen the most victims, suggesting a shift in ransomware attack strategy.
“Criminal activities have continued to rise in the first half of the year, with an 8% surge in global weekly cyberattacks in the second quarter marking the highest volume in two years. Familiar threats such as ransomware and hacktivism have evolved further, with threat groups modifying their methods and tools to infect and affect organizations worldwide. Even legacy technology such as USB storage devices, which have long been gathering dust in desk drawers, have gained popularity as a malware messenger.” said Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software.
“Organizations need to build a cyber resiliency strategy and strengthen their defenses by adopting a prevention-first, integrated approach to cyber security. Cyberattacks are inevitable but can be largely prevented by proactive measures and the right security technologies”.