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Chinese Cyber Attacks on European Businesses Soar

"Locky" and "WannaCry" alone accounted for 75% of Ransomware attacks

By CBR Staff Writer

Two years ago when security company NTT Security published its 2016 annual Global Threat Intelligence Report, China accounted for less than three percent of all attacks against EMEA-based businesses – ranking as the ninth most prominent attack source.

Within a year, it had surged to become the number one source of attacks across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with a whopping 67 percent of cyberattacks on the manufacturing sector stemming from Chinese sources.

That’s according to NTT’s 2018 Global Threat Intelligence report, which summarises data from over 6.1 trillion logs and 150 million attacks for its analysis – which is based on log, event, attack, incident and vulnerability data from clients.

It also includes details from NTT Security research sources, including global honeypots and sandboxes located in over 100 different countries, the company notes.

GCHQ stops 54m cyberattacks with “Great British Firewall”

Tech Targeted

Attacks against finance were characterized by extensive use of spyware and keyloggers, as well as application-based attacks, NTT emphasised.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, meanwhile, the buoyant and highly competitive tech sector saw the biggest increase in attacks; a 25 percent global average increase, with hostile activity against technology “highly characterized by reconnaissance and continual attacks from sources previously known to be hostile”.

The gaming industry became a major global target for hackers, particularly ransomware NTT researchers noted, while in the EMEA region, a “notably high” volume of botnet client activity was identified compared to global results (11 percent versus one percent of malware).

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Ransomware Rockets

With ransomware sky-rocketing by a staggering 350%, accounting for 7% of global malware in 2017, gambling and gaming stood out as key targets of ransomware attacks – in part because of their sustained up-time requirements.

“Several of the sectors most targeted by ransomware are characterized by high uptime requirements as they have operations which are time sensitive, or outages could lead directly to losses of revenue . Some other sectors are highly sensitive to theft of intellectual property because of the nature or private information, or specific information which gives that company a competitive advantage . While NTT Security detected ransomware attacks in every industry sector, the top five targeted sectors accounted for 72 percent of all ransomware detections”, the report notes.

Of all detected ransomware, just two types (Locky, 45 percent and WannaCry, 30 percent) dominated, with all other varieties of ransomware combined making up the remaining 25 percent. To mitigate impact, the company urged end-users to minimise the amount of data which can be impacted by enforcing “need to know” and implementing data and network segregation.

See also: NTT warns businesses after “dramatic” rise in coin mining malware


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