Ransomware attacks in Malaysia will rise by more than 37 percent in 2022

Ransomware attacks in Malaysia will rise by more than 37 percent in 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Cases of ransomware and extortion attacks in Malaysia will increase by 37.5 percent in 2022 with 11 cases reported across key sectors, said Palo Alto Networks.

The US-based cyber security company said threat actors are using more aggressive tactics to pressure organizations, with 20 times more intrusions than in 2021, according to Unit 42’s incident response cases.

“This harassment is usually done through phone calls and emails targeting specific individuals, often in the C-suite, or customers, to pressure them into paying the ransom,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Palo Alto Networks also said the 2023 Ransomware and Extortion Report by Unit 42 shares that insight based on findings gathered from about 1,000 cases over the past 18 months.

“Attacks in the education and manufacturing sectors are on the rise due to their high-value data and they have emerged as prime targets after similar cases occurred relatively few in the previous year.

“The Russian-linked ransomware gang, Lockbit 3.0, is the leading attacker in the country. Lockbit is one of the most prolific ransomware groups in 2022 that increased their activity around the start of the Russia-Ukraine war,” he said.

The company said ransomware groups use layered extortion techniques for greater impact, which aim to put more pressure on organizations to pay the ransom.

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

“Data theft, often linked to leaks on the dark web, is the most common extortion tactic, with 70 percent of groups using it by the end of 2022, up 30 percentage points from the previous year,” he said.

Palo Alto Networks said Unit 42 researchers found an average of seven new ransomware victims were exposed every day on the dark web, equivalent to one victim every four hours.

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

“In 2022, as many as 30 organizations in the Forbes Global 2000 list have been affected by extortion attempts,” he added.


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