By Mousume Roy, APAC Reporter, HCL Technologies Ltd.
Cyberwars, ransomware attacks, and breaches are a money-spinning business today. Recently, communications products company Twilio suffered a phishing attack which resulted in a data breach for some of its customers. Twilio has a customer base of 150,000 customers, including big brands such as Facebook, AirBnB, Dell, and Salesforce. The attack compromised the accounts of many of its customers and employees.
Undoubtedly, cybercrime is at an all-time high. Cybercriminals have become brazen at executing cyber warfare, malicious distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, ransomware, phishing, and crypto jacking – holding organizations, countries, even individual's hostage with data loss, disruption, and supply chain attacks.
Given the continuous increase and evolution of cyberattacks, insights on various cyber threats are a good starting point to understand how to enhance the cybersecurity posture of an organization.
Here’s a roundup of 2022’s top five data breaches and cyberattacks to date.
Cyberwarfare – Russia and Ukraine
On 24 February 2022, a deliberate cyber-attack against Viasat’s KA-SAT network resulted in the disruption of consumer-oriented satellite broadband service. The attack destroyed tens of thousands of satellite terminals affecting customers in Ukraine and Europe.
"The cyber-attack took place one hour before Russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, thus facilitating the military aggression," claimed a statement by the European Union.
According to CISA, leading up to Russia’s attack against Ukraine, cyber criminals deployed destructive malware— WhisperGate, HermeticWiper, IsaacWiper, HermeticWizard, and CaddyWiper—to destroy computer systems and render them inoperable.
In January 2022, Okta, an authentication company used by thousands of organizations worldwide, was hacked by cyber-gang Lapsus$. The hackers compromised Okta’s systems by gaining remote access to a system belonging to an employee of Sitel, a third-party company that provides customer service functions for Okta. Two months later, details of the hack emerged when a member of Lapsus$ shared screenshots of Okta’s internal systems on a Telegram channel — an embarrassing situation for the Okta security team.
Computing giant Microsoft was targeted by Lapsus$ on March 20th 2022. The group posted a screenshot on Telegram to indicate that they hacked Microsoft and compromised Cortana, Bing, and several other products.
However, by March 22nd Microsoft announced that they’d shut down the hacking attempt promptly and that only one account was compromised resulting in "limited access" to company systems but not the data of any Microsoft customers.
In January 2022, a cyberattack on a contractor used by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) compromised the personal data of more than 515,000 "highly vulnerable people," including people separated from their families by conflict and disaster.
The hack forced the Red Cross to shut down IT systems that support a program that reunites families separated by conflict, migration, or disaster.
"We are all appalled and perplexed that this humanitarian information would be targeted and compromised," said ICRC Director-General Robert Mardini.
Earlier in January, cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com lost well over $30 million in Bitcoin and Ethereum after a hack. The total value of the unauthorized withdrawals was 4,836.26 ETH and 443.93 BTC — equivalent to roughly $15.2 million and $18.6 million respectively, at current exchange rates — as well as $66,200 worth of other currencies. Approximately, 483 Crypto.com users had their accounts compromised. The company has been criticized for vague communication around the hack, which was only officially confirmed recently by CEO Kris Marszalek.
In a 2021 report, Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) said it received 34,202 complaints related to the use of some type of cryptocurrency, with consumer losses amounting to more than $1.6 billion
Staying ahead of cybercriminals
Advancements in technologies such as next-generation security controls, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and rapid adoption of IoT have created a highly complex environment for organizations.
Staying ahead of perpetrators requires gaining critical insight into attack activity worldwide, adopting a flexible security solution, enabling cybersecurity training and awareness, and increasing cybersecurity budgets to help integrate widely distributed and disparate security services.