Ransomware attacks in M'sia surge over 37 per cent in 2022 - Palo Alto Networks

22 Mar 2023 12:22pm
For illustration purpose - Foto 123rf
For illustration purpose - Foto 123rf
KUALA LUMPUR - Ransomware and extortion cases in Malaysia increased by 37.5 per cent in 2022 with 11 reported cases across key sectors, said Palo Alto Networks.

The United States-based cyber security company said that threat actors were utilising more aggressive tactics to pressure organisations, with harassment being involved 20 times more often than in 2021, according to its Unit 42 incident response cases.

"This harassment is typically carried out via phone calls and emails targeting a specific individual, often in the C-suite, or even customers, to pressure them into paying a ransom demand,” it said in a statement today.

Palo Alto Networks also said that the 2023 Unit 42 Ransomware and Extortion Report shared insights compiled based on findings from its Unit 42’s incident response work from approximately 1,000 cases throughout the past 18 months.

"Attacks in the education and manufacturing sectors have been on the rise due to their high-value data and have emerged as top targets after experiencing relatively few incidents the previous year.

"The Russian-linked ransomware gang, Lockbit 3.0, was the leading attacker in the country. Lockbit was one of the most prolific ransomware groups of 2022 who ramped up activity around the start of the Russia-Ukraine war,” it said.

The company said that ransomware groups had been observed layering extortion techniques for greater impact, with the goal of applying more pressure on organisations to pay the ransom.

"Some of these tactics include encryption, data theft, distributed denial of service (DDoS) and harassment.

"Data theft, which is often associated with dark web leak sites, was the most common of the extortion tactics, with 70 per cent of groups using it by late 2022, a 30 percentage point increase from the year prior,” it said.
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Palo Alto Networks said Unit 42 researchers see a daily average of seven new ransomware victims posted on leak sites, equating to one new victim every four hours.

"There have been many notable attacks in the past year from ransomware groups, with a particular spike in attacks on schools and hospitals.

"In 2022, 30 organisations on the Forbes Global 2000 list were publicly impacted by extortion attempts,” it added. - BERNAMA

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