A report by Check Point Research reveals a 168% year-on-year surge in cyberattacks in APAC in 2021 as compared to May 2020. There has been a 53% rise in cyberattacks in APAC between April and May 2021. Currently, organizations face 1,245 attacks every week. Let’s look into the key highlights and trends shaping this space.

Recent victims in APAC

  • A new APT group called SharpPanda was spotted firing spear-phishing campaigns to deliver a victory backdoor to penetrate the systems of South Asian governments.
  • Hackers stole customer emails, phone numbers, and addresses of McDonald’s users in South Korea, Taiwan, and the U.S. in a cyberattack.
  • A phishing campaign was observed targeting Indian government officials via a malicious web link on platforms such as WhatsApp, SMS, and emails.
  • Singapore-based consumer electronics retailer Audio House was targeted by the Altdos hacking group. The attack impacted the personal data of about 180,000 customers.
  • A North Korean threat group, Kimsuky, carried out an espionage campaign targeting top government officials in South Korea.

Check Point Report

The lockdown due to the pandemic in APAC countries played a vital role in offering adversaries security gaps in work networks.
  • The top five countries with the largest increase in targeted attacks are Japan (40%), Singapore (30%), Indonesia (25%), Malaysia (22%), and Taiwan (17%).
  • The top three industries that experienced the largest rise in cyberattacks are utilities (39%), followed by ISP/MSP (12%) and software vendors (6%).
  • As per the report, ransomware and RATs remained the top malware with the largest activity in the region. 
  • While ransomware attacks rose by 26% as compared to the last year, banking trojans and infostealers witnessed a 10% increase.
  • Further, amid the geopolitical skirmish, good news flew in the first week of June from Microsoft.

Microsoft creates an APAC council

Microsoft announced the creation of an Asia Pacific cybersecurity council to push improved communications between the public and private sectors. The council is devised to share and implement best cyber practices to effectively tackle cyber threats.

Closing lines

While organizations have increased their focus on cybersecurity, we can still do better in protecting networks by following some basic principles. To begin with, patch your software in a timely manner, follow the principle of least privilege, secure your backups, and the most critical is to leverage an advanced threat intelligence platform. Through threat intel sharing, organizations can learn from each other and proactively identify threats specific to their operating environment, infrastructure, industry sector, and geographical location, among many other factors. Thus, organizations can manage the rising number of threats without overwhelming their security teams.

Cyware Publisher