Cybercrime, boom in hacker attacks: the push from the Russian-Ukrainian war

In the first half of 2022 recorded phenomena higher than the whole of 2021: 1,572 between attacks, incidents and violations of privacy compared to 1,356 total cases last year. In the South, less secure connected devices. The cyber-arms race is growing 14 Jul 2022 F. Me

Black semester for Italian cybersecurity. The Exprivia Cybersecurity Observatory report on cyber threats detected 1,572 attacks, incidents and privacy breaches in the first six months of 2022 in just six months, compared to the 1,356 total cases recorded in all of 2021. Despite the growth curve of the entire semester, the report drawn up by the Apulian ICT group – which takes into consideration 113 open sources (sites of affected companies, public sites of national interest, online news agencies, blogs and social media) – marks between April and June a slight decrease of about 5% of cases (766) compared to the first quarter of the year (when there were 806), but with a considerable peak in May. Between April and June, 381 attacks, 359 security incidents – i.e. successful attacks – and 26 privacy breaches were found, up 37% compared to the previous quarter, with Public Administration, Banks and Finance and Healthcare among the sectors most affected by the sanctions issued by the Guarantor for the protection of personal data. "If the slight decrease in threats in the second quarter of the year on the one hand suggests greater cybersecurity in digital services that have evolved in recent years, on the other hand overall the phenomenon of cybercrime continues to maintain a very high growth trend" - comments Domenico Raguseo, Director of Cybersecurity at Exprivia . "For the first time, moreover, the Observatory has developed calculation indices that measure the impact of IoT devices on the security of the entire digital ecosystem, verifying whether the results of investments in cybersecurity balance those for the development of digital itself. At the moment the analysis from which we start photographs a two-speed Italy, with connected devices much more at risk in the South than in the North". Index of topics • The geographical distribution and type of attacks • The sectors most affected The geographical distribution and type of attacks The new calculation indices developed by Exprivia highlight in the South a lack of awareness of the damage that can cause an ineffective management of cybersecurity even in individual ecosystems, which are the most at risk (such as video surveillance cameras, printers, up to the same antivirus programs). In the North, on the other hand, where there is the greater spread of IoT devices, also due to the concentration of industries, the devices are more protected but the digital services available to citizens are more exposed to vulnerabilities and taken more by assault by hackers.

Between April and June, the number of DDoS attacks soared, interrupting the services provided by institutions, companies, public establishments, and malware, i.e. attack vectors aimed at stealing sensitive information; malware that still maintains the primacy in the ranking of the most used techniques by cybercriminals in this second quarter of 2022 (316 cases). For the first time, phishing/social engineering fell to second place (-22%), methods of grooming through deceptive e-mails or social networks, with 303 phenomena compared to 389 in the previous quarter. Cybercrime is confirmed, even in the second quarter of the year, the motivation that has pushed cyber attackers to strike on Italian territory. In second place is cyber warfare with 118 phenomena, quintupled compared to last quarter (22) due to the protracted Russia-Ukraine conflict, with a consequent increase in attacks on critical infrastructure. In third place is the data breach, i.e. the theft of data (27). The sectors most affected In the ranking of the most affected sectors, Finance is confirmed as the one favored by cyber-attackers, with an increase of 14% (326 cases) compared to the first three months of 2022, representing 43% of the total attacks, equal to 763. At a considerable distance, it follows the Software/Hardware sector, in particular ICT companies, of digital services, e-commerce platforms, devices and operating systems, which mainly suffer the theft of data, such as access credentials or sensitive information, with a + 40% of cases (130) compared to the previous quarter, and 17% of total attacks. The Industry sector rises to third place, with 68 cases, while the Public Administration with 47 phenomena marks a decrease of 57%, presumably also thanks to information campaigns in the cybersecurity field by government bodies that seem to have sensitized to a better organization in the implementation of appropriate security measures and controls.