Number of cyber attacks dip 4.8% in Q3: Positive Technologies

The number of cyber attacks  in Q3 2021 decreased by 4.8 percent compared to the previous quarter — the first time since the end of 2018, Positive Technologies said in a report.
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The share of attacks aimed at compromising corporate computers, servers, and network equipment has fallen, from 87 percent to 75 percent.

“This year we saw the peak of ransomware attacks in April when 120 attacks were recorded. There were 45 attacks in September, down 63 percent from the peak in April. Several large ransomware gangs stopped their operation, and law enforcement agencies started paying more attention to the problem of ransomware attacks,” Ekaterina Kilyusheva, Head of Research and Analytics, Positive Technologies, said.

There is a trend toward the rebranding of existing ransomware gangs: Some operators are rethinking their preference for the Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) scheme, which carries certain risks from unreliable partners.

Though the share of malware attacks on organizations decreased by 22 percent, the attackers’ appetite for data led to an increase in the use of remote access trojans.

In attacks on organizations, this share grew from 17 to 36 percent, whereas in attacks against individuals, remote control trojans made up more than half of all used malware. In Q3 the share of attacks involving remote access trojans increased 2.5 times over Q1, the report said.

The share of attacks conducted by APT group increased to five percent of the total number of attacks against users. This was likely due to numerous phishing and intelligence campaigns against employees of government agencies, industrial enterprises, and media workers.

The share of social engineering attacks against individuals increased from 67 to 83 percent compared to the same period last year. Criminals are constantly improving malicious techniques, by tricking victims into calling fraudulent call centers. The BazaCall malware and ransomware campaign is an example.