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SonicWall: Pandemic exposes record-breaking cyber attacks

Paul Lipscombe
March 16, 2021

Threat actors weaponizing cloud storage, advanced cloud-based tools to create record ransomware attack effectiveness, volume

Cyber-attacks grew to unprecedented levels during 2020 as the pandemic forced people to work from home.

That is according to research carried out by SonicWall as part of its 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, which found a range of different cyber-attacks hit businesses hard.

Cybercriminals have taken advantage of the pandemic to attack businesses, with ransomware attacks up 62 per cent since 2019, with 304.6 million attacks worldwide.

Retail, healthcare and government sectors have been among those targeted the most, while IoT malware also rose 66 per cent during the pandemic.

“2020 offered a perfect storm for cybercriminals and a critical tipping point for the cyber arms race,” said SonicWall president and CEO Bill Conner.

“The pandemic — along with remote work, a charged political climate, record prices of cryptocurrency, and threat actors weaponizing cloud storage and tools — drove the effectiveness and volume of cyberattacks to new highs.

“This latest threat intelligence offers a look at how cybercriminals shifted and refined their tactics, painting a picture of what they are doing amid the uncertain future that lies ahead.”

The report also revealed an increase in cryptojacking – which is a type of cybercrime where a criminal secretly uses a victim’s computing power to generate cryptocurrency.

It’s a practice that happens when cryptocurrency breaks records.

SonicWall said that crytojacking had grown by 28 per cent year-on-year, a three-year high, with 81.9 million hits.

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