Hackers Attacked Businesses 22 Million Times In The Last 7 Days Globally

Image sourced from Forbes.

According to data compiled and analyzed by Atlas VPN, hackers attacked businesses more than 22 million times during the last week worldwide. Over 63% of these hacking attempts were malware attacks.

Attacks monitored also include phishing and Command & Control (C&C) attacks.

A Command & Control (C&C) attack is when hackers attempt to take over control of a system and then steal or delete data. C&C attacks can also be used as a part of a phishing scam or a way to infect the network with malware.

Cyber attacks in the last 7 days globally

Atlas VPN  has extracted and organized the data acquired from a cybersecurity giant Akamai, that provides real-time data on cyberattacks that their corporate customers are under. They catch a significant amount of attacks globally since they are one of the largest distributed computing platforms in the world. They are responsible for serving between 15%-30% of web traffic globally.

On average, there were 3.26 million cyberattacks daily throughout last week. From the chart, we can see that hackers carried most cyberattacks on 15 April, with a total of over 3.6 million intrusion attempts. Interestingly, most of these cyberattacks were malware attacks.

The reason being, it is usually the easiest way to infiltrate companies’ networks and to steal or freeze data and to demand a ransom. On average, there were 2,070,297 malware attacks per day during last week. Malware attacks comprised 63% of the total attacks.

In comparison, phishing attacks and C&C attacks comprised 11% and 26% of total attacks, respectively.

It seems that even some hackers took the last Saturday (18 April) off, since there were 12% fewer attacks than the average day.

Compared to the previous week, (6-12 April) where the total volume of attacks was 23,807,517, this week hackers attacked enterprises around 1-million times less.

A broader perspective – last 30 days 

During the last 30 days, cybercriminals tried to infiltrate corporate networks nearly 100 million times. Hackers attacked businesses using malware over 57 million times. This comprises almost 58% of the total cyber attacks.

Moreover, C&C attacks were the second most common type used by hackers with over 27 million attacks in the last 30 days. In other words, C&C amounts to over 27% of all attacks on enterprises.

Finally, phishing scams are the least common type of attacks used by hackers, with a total of over 15 million attacks in the same time-frame. This accounts for over 15% of the total volume of attacks.

It seems that hackers do not have a preference for the day of the week or the time of the month for cyberattacks. The smallest number of total attacks happened on 23 March (Monday) and 18 April (Saturday).

In contrast, the most active days were 5 April (Sunday) and 6 April (Monday).  In these two days alone, cybercriminals tried to infiltrate corporate networks 8,821,850 times.

South Africa – a vulnerable target

The South African technology landscape is an interesting dichotomy that makes it vulnerable to attack by cybercriminals. On one hand, the market is mature enough that many large international organisations have a local presence, so there are many lucrative potential targets for attack. On the other hand, our technology landscape and skills base is not mature enough to protect against all of the possible threats and vulnerabilities.

According to IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2019, the average cost of a data breach in South Africa is at R36.5 million, which ranks us at number 7 of 16 countries. The reality is that this is not a new scenario, but the frequency of incidents is on the increase and the high profile nature of attacks is growing. In 2019 we saw several prominent ransomware attacks on local government and utility providers, and the attacks continue in 2020, with a recent attack on vehicle recovery organisation Tracker.

Aside from the disruption to service that successful breaches cause, there are numerous other ramifications that can be extremely costly. This includes damage to and theft and destruction of data, lost productivity, money being stolen, the cost of actually recovering from the attack, and the intangible cost of reputational damage that a breach causes.

Edited by Luis Monzon

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