The recently released Global Risks Report of 2018, highlighted the growing threats posed by cyber attacks, to heighten awareness on how their existence puts a great financial strain on global business systems.
The report states that cyber attacks have nearly doubled during the past five (5) years. Incidences of cyberattacks have in fact reached a point that can no longer be considered as rare or extraordinary; as they are now ubiquitous in nature.
According to the global report, the financial costs borne by cybersecurity breaches is rising, as demonstrated by the results of the 2017 ransomware attacks. Analysis showed that 64% of all malicious emails accounted during the year were ransomware.
Examples of Cyberattacks that Strategically Targeted Infrastructures of Industry Sectors
The most prominent cyberattacks that transpired in the recent past were perpetuated via ransomwares known as the WannaCry, Petya and NotPetya.
The WannaCry Attack
WannaCry is a ransomware worm believed to have links to the Lazarus Group. a known cybercrime organization with possible ties to the North Korean government. In 2017, the Wannacry worm spread quickly across 300,000 computers in 150 countries after infecting a Windows-supported computer.
The WannaCry worm is capable of encrypting files on a PC’s hard drive to make the system inaccessible to users. After which, perpetrators of the WannacryCry cyberattack demanda ransom payment in the form of bitcoin, in exchange for the decryption of the ransomware’s malicious disabler.
NotPetya Cyber Attacks
The NotPetya ransomware of 2017 mimicked the earlier criminal ransomware Petya that surfaced in 2016. Both types of ransomware are capable of extorting crypto money by encrypting codes that disable a computer’s system
The cyberattackers then sent a message detailing instructions on how to complete a specific bitcoin transaction so the victims can obtain the key that would decrypt the malicious Petya/NotPetya disabler
The 2017 NotPetya cyber attack is touted as the most devastating because the ransomware flooded throughout; affecting websites of multiple Ukrainian organizations that included banks, news publishers, electricity companies, and government ministries. Reports have it that similar attacks took place in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, UK and U.S.
Security experts believe that Ukraine was the main target, as the NotPetya cyberattack was coursed through an update of MeDoc, a Ukrainian tax accounting bundle used by about 90% of domestic firms actively operating in the country. At the time of the attack, MeDoc enjoyed a customer base of about 400,000 users, to which around one (1) million computers in Ukraine was hit by the NotPetya ransomware.