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89% of global cyberattacks are aimed at Russia or Ukraine

Nearly nine in ten cyberattacks happening worldwide are targeting Russia or Ukraine, the recent research by Atlas VPN finds.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both countries became lucrative targets for state-sponsored and individual hackers. As such, Anonymous declared war on Russia while the Conti ransomware group sided with Putin.

“The battles in the digital world can have a significant impact on communications and propaganda distribution on both sides,” the report by Atlas VPN suggests.

70% of cyberattacks targeted Russia, with 5 billion incidents registered since March 5. Ukraine was targeted only in 19% of the cases, followed by the US (5%.) Although the US is usually the top target for threat actors, its popularity among cybercriminals has seemingly been overshadowed by recent events.

Based on the data from Imperva Daily Cyber Threat Attack Map statistics, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks accounted for 90% of all incidents, causing severe disruption with a wave of bots.

Automated threats came second, accounting for 7% of cyberattacks, followed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) attacks (3%.)

Not all industries were targeted equally. As such, the financial services sector was most of interest to malicious hackers. Banks and financial institutions were targeted in 72% of the cases globally. These attacks took place both in Ukraine and Russia in hopes of disrupting routine operations or blocking access to funds.

The business industry was affected in 21% of attacks, followed by the IT sector (2%). “Other” industries made up for 5% of global cyber incidents.

While the cyberwar between the sides is ongoing, some experts think that the worst of it is yet to come.

“We anticipate, and organizations should prepare for an increase in Russian state-sponsored and cyber-mercenary attacks, particularly as the impacts of sanctions are realized. These attacks will likely become more sophisticated, persistent, and aggressive in their targeting. There may be attempts to disrupt financial systems, power grids, and supply chains in order to pressure for relief of those sanctions,” Tara Lemieux, Senior Associate of Schellman, told Cybernews.

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