Cyberattacks have risen 25pc globally since Ukraine invasion

10 Mar 2022

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While a surge in activity has been detected around the world, Ukraine is seeing a ‘particularly serious wave of cyberthreats’.

There has been a 25pc spike in cyberattacks across the world in the past two weeks in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That’s what attendees will hear at a cybersecurity conference in Dublin today (10 March).

Zero Day Con, organised by Irish security company Smarttech247, will see leading voices in the cybersecurity space come together to discuss new approaches to safeguard businesses from the growing threat of cyberattacks.

Future Human

Speakers will include Laukik Suthar, the chief information officer of the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service, as well as An Garda Síochána detective chief superintendent Pat Lordan, Smarttech247 CEO Ronan Murphy, and experts from tech companies such as Microsoft and IBM.

Ukraine bears the brunt

Raluca Saceanu, chief operating officer of Smarttech247, said that the Cork-headquartered company has responded to the rise in cyberattacks by deploying additional threat hunters and creating new rules in security operation centres to bolster defences.

“The surge in activity has been detected around the world but Ukraine is seeing a particularly serious wave of cyberthreats, especially increased phishing attacks, where hackers use sophisticated methods to convince people to click on a link,” she said.

Saceanu warned that businesses and industries need to be “extremely vigilant right now” and that there is “no room for complacency” when it comes to monitoring and tackling potential problems.

Ukraine has been hit by a wave of cyberattacks this year. In January, a massive cyberattack hit government websites with the message ‘be afraid and prepare for the worst’ displayed on some screens.

As the military invasion commenced late last month, Russian hackers launched a barrage of attacks with phishing schemes and targeted distributed denial-of-service, or DDOS, attacks with a new malware.

Amazon’s cloud unit said this week it has “seen new malware signatures and activity from a number of state actors”, including “several situations” where malware has been specifically targeted at charities, NGOs and other aid organisations to cause confusion or disruption.

It comes after cybersecurity researchers found that a Belarus-linked group was launching cyberattacks to disrupt refugees fleeing Ukraine.

Cybersecurity up in the agenda

This year’s Zero Day Con will discuss new approaches and technologies in the cybersecurity space in the context of growing global geopolitical tension and how businesses can respond.

Smarttech247 said that businesses need to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving threat landscape by increasing their cyber defences – particularly in their patching efforts, security awareness and general organisation vigilance.

Saceanu said it is important to bring together the Government, private sector and international partners to discuss pressing cybersecurity issues affecting everyone, adding that recent events have “pushed cybersecurity further up the agenda”.

“Here in Ireland, we’ve even seen our health service disrupted by a devastating cyberattack so we know we have a lot to learn,” she added, referring to the HSE ransomeware attack last summer.

Earlier this week, a group of cybercriminals leaked almost 190GB of data from Samsung following the latest major cyberattack. Lapsus$, which said it had stolen significant data from Nvidia last week, also claimed responsibility for the Samsung breach.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

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