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2023 saw a global rise in ransomware and hacktivism | #ransomware | #cybercrime


A new report from threat intelligence company Intel 471 shows a global rise in ransomware and hacktivism.

The report notes 4,429 ransomware attacks in 2023, almost double the 2,344 observed in 2022, with the most prominent variants being LockBit 3.0, ALPHV, CLOP, Play and 8BASE. North America saw a notable 125.3 percent increase in ransomware, followed by Europe with 67.7 percent, Asia with 46.8 percent, South America with 40.9 percent.

Infostealers accounted for 21 percent of all malware-related offerings. This dominance is expected to persist into 2024 due to the efficiency, profitability and the low entry barrier it provides cybercriminals. The research also notes a 43 percent increase in zero-day vulnerabilities in 2023.

Conflicts around the world have seen an increase in hacktivism. The pro-Russian NoName057(16) group accounted for almost 60 percent of all hacktivist incidents during 2023. Intel 471 observed shifting alliances within hacktivist groups, and the reignition of the Israel-Palestine conflict in October caused significant fluctuations in activity, with Cyber Toufan becoming the most active pro-Palestinian group.

“Over the last year, we’ve seen international adversaries introduce and invoke new and more advanced methodologies to bypass traditional approaches in cybersecurity defenses,” says Michael DeBolt, chief intelligence officer of Intel 471. “From the global rise in ransomware and surge in hacktivism to shifting threat actor alliances, it is clear that attack rationales can change on a whim, and companies need to be vigilant in responding to emerging strategies and trends. Intel 471’s latest findings shed light on how enterprise security should evolve to stay ahead of dynamic adversaries.”

The report also notes that threat actors are rushing to incorporate AI into their offerings via chatbot abuse, KYC (Know Your Customer) verification bypass methods, social-engineering campaigns and deepfakes.

The full report is available from the Intel 471 site.

Image credit: denisismagilov/depositphotos.com





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