A worldwide conflict may have a significant impact on the threat landscape because of few things. State-sponsored actors and cybercriminals on both sides of the Russia-Ukraine cyberwar have an unprecedented opportunity to develop new malicious techniques and techniques to disrupt their opponents' communication.
According to Fortinets' semiannual Global Threat Landscape Report released today, the Ukrainian conflict has contributed to an increase in disk-wiping malware. Researchers discovered at least seven new major wiper variants used in targeted campaigns against government, military, and private organizations in Ukraine.
As the ransomware-as-a-service industry continues to expand, the study found that ransomware variations have increased by about 100% in the past year, from 5,400 to 10,666.
These techniques were mainly used to target Ukraine-related entities, but they may also be used internationally, which means businesses must be prepared to deal with malware threats that would rob them of their ability to backup and recover data.
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The reality of the Russia-Ukraine cyberwar
As cybercriminals attempt to replicate the effectiveness of the most deadly tools, it is important to remember that these new threats aren't limited to the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflict, but they may be utilized for years to come.
Paul Proctor, Gartner's VP and former head of research for risk and security at Gartner, stated earlier this year, cyberwarfare does not have physical boundaries, and he expects organizations worldwide to notice the effects of a greater threat environment.
One of the most powerful techniques that have gained popularity during the conflict is to wipe out an organization's data so it cannot be recovered.
According to Fortinets FortiGuard Labs, the Ukraine war has resulted in a substantial increase in disk-wiping malware among threats that primarily target critical infrastructure.
Wiper malware trends suggest a disturbing trend of more destructive and sophisticated attack techniques that are continuing with malicious software that destroys data by wiping it clean. This suggests that these weaponized payloads will be used in other instances, campaigns, and targets.
What are ways to ensure that organisations do not become collateral damage?
Fortinets recommends that organizations conduct risk assessments rather than becoming collateral damage to the cyberwar, while protecting endpoints from zero-day threats and implementing zero-trust network access controls.
Manky recommends that CISOs turn to threat intelligence to gain a better understanding of threat actors' intentions and tactics. This will enable them to better align their defenses and mitigate the latest innovations attackers develop.
Organizations may complement these steps with security awareness training in order to lessen the likelihood of employees downloading malicious attachments that might infect the environment with one of these new malware strains.