SonicWall: Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total in Just 6 Months
MILPITAS, Calif., July 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In the first half of 2021, ransomware attacks skyrocketed, eclipsing the entire volume for 2020 in only six months, according to the mid-year update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report published today. In a new paradigm for cybercrime, SonicWall is analyzing how threat actors are using any means possible to further their malicious intents.
Ransomware showed massive year-to-date spikes in the U.S. (185%), U.K. (144%)
With high-profile attacks against established technology and infrastructure, ransomware is now more prevalent than ever. Through the first half of 2021, SonicWall recorded global ransomware volume of 304.7 million, surpassing 2020's full-year total (304.6 million) — a 151% year-to-date increase.
"In a year driven by anxiety and uncertainty, cybercriminals have continued to accelerate attacks against innocent people and vulnerable institutions," said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner. "This latest data shows that sophisticated threat actors are tirelessly adapting their tactics and embracing ransomware to reap financial gain and sow discord. With remote working still widespread, businesses continue to be highly exposed to risk, and criminals are acutely aware of uncertainty across the cyber landscape. It's crucial that organizations move toward a modern Boundless Cybersecurity approach to protect against both known and unknown threats, particularly when everyone is more remote, more mobile and less secure than ever."
Ransomware running rampant
The top five regions most impacted by ransomware in the first half of 2021 were the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa and Brazil. Across the U.S., the five hardest-hit states were Florida (111.1 million), New York (26.4 million), Idaho (20.5 million), Louisiana (8.8 million) and Rhode Island (8.8 million).
In line with spikes in global data, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers also recorded alarming ransomware spikes across key verticals, including government (917%), education (615%), healthcare (594%) and retail (264%) organizations.
Patented RTDMI finding, blocking more never-seen-before variants than ever
RTDMI technology blocks more advanced and unknown malware compared to traditional behavior-based sandboxing methods, and with a lower false-positive rate. This can be seen in the latest ICSA Labs Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) Q2 test results, where the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service with RTDMI detected 100% of previously unknown threats with zero false positives across 33 consecutive days of testing.
In its most recent test administered in the second quarter of 2021, ICSA conducted a total of 1,144 tests against Capture ATP, with a mixture of 544 new and little-known malicious samples and 600 innocuous applications. Capture ATP correctly identified 100% of malicious samples while allowing all clean samples through. It was the sixth consecutive ICSA ATD certification for Capture ATP, and second 'perfect score' in as many quarters.
"Third-party validation is hard earned, particularly in today's fast-moving threat landscape," said SonicWall Vice President of Software Engineering & Threat Research Alex Dubrovsky. "Consecutive perfect certifications is a testament to the SonicWall team and our continued quest to arm organizations with intelligence and technology that help protect them from the most dangerous cyber threats."
Malware continues to fall, non-standard port attacks down
Malware attacks via non-standard ports also fell in 2021 after hitting record highs in 2020. These attacks, which aim to increase payloads by bypassing traditional firewall technologies, represent 14% of all malware attempts in the first half of 2021, down from 24% year to date.
Cryptojacking malware remains a concern
IoT vector continues to serve threats
SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers collect and analyze threat intelligence data from 1.1 million sensors in over 215 countries and territories. This includes cross-vector, threat-related information shared among SonicWall security systems, including firewalls, email security devices, endpoint security solutions, honeypots, content filtering systems and the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) multi-engine sandbox; SonicWall internal malware analysis automation framework; malware and IP reputation data from tens of thousands of
firewalls and email security devices around the globe; and shared threat intelligence from more than 50 industry collaboration groups and research organizations.
To download the full mid-year update of the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, please visit www.sonicwall.com/threatreport.
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