New malware attacks have seen a huge rise in recent months

Over the last summer, between June and August, BlackBerry observed a 70% increase in new malware

These are the findings of the latest Quarterly Global Threat Intelligence Report, a research paper the company based on its AI-powered cybersecurity solution.

As per the report, BlackBerry stopped more than 3.3 million attacks in the quarter, equalling roughly 26 attacks and 2.9 unique malware samples every minute. 

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Expanding volume

The most popular targets among cybercriminals are organizations in the finance and healthcare industries, mostly due to the high value of the data and the opportunity hackers have to disrupt essential services. 

The financial sector was the most frequently attacked one for the quarter, followed by healthcare institutions. 

Of all the new malware variants that BlackBerry spotted, the most unique samples were observed in the United States, followed by Japan, South Korea, India, and Canada. 

Perhaps not so surprisingly, ransomware groups made up the majority of the threat actors analyzed in the report, with LockBit, Cl0p, Cuba, and ALPHV all observed increasingly using double extortion tactics as insurance on attacks. 

“Malicious actors are working harder than ever to expand their range and volume of cyberattacks,” said Ismael Valenzuela, Vice President of Threat Research and Intelligence, BlackBerry. 

“The intensifying number of novel attacks targeting nations and industries demonstrates the impact of the macroeconomic climate on cybersecurity. However, while threats are increasing in number and diversity, so is our ability to defend against them with advanced technologies that predict and prevent attacks.”  

Ransomware has grown into quite the pandemic, with most organizations either suffering an attack in the past or expecting one in the near future. With the help of AI-powered chatbots, even low-skilled threat actors can craft believable phishing emails that can lead to devastating ransomware attacks.

Today’s ransomware operators usually steal sensitive data too, and threaten to release it on the dark web unless a payment is made.

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