Government & Finance Sectors Top Cyberattack List


New research from Dimension Data reveals that cyberattacks on the government sector doubled in 2016, increasing to 14 percent from seven percent of all cybersecurity attacks in 2015. Attacks on the finance sector also rose dramatically from just three percent in 2015 to 14 percent of all attacks in 2016.

The findings are part of Dimension Data’s Executive’s Guide to the NTT Security 2017 Global Threat Intelligence Report, which was compiled from 3.5 trillion security logs, 6.2 billion attempted attacks, and global honeypots and sandboxes.

“Governments all over the world are constantly under the threat of sophisticated attacks launched by rival nation-states, terrorist groups, hacktivists and cybercriminals. That’s because government agencies hold vast amounts of sensitive information – from personnel records, budgetary data and sensitive communications to intelligence findings. What’s interesting is that this year we saw numerous incidents involving insider threats,” said Matthew Gyde, Dimension Data’s Group Executive.

According to the report, several geopolitical events in 2016 likely bumped government to the top of the attack list. Questions over cyber interference in political campaigns as well as verified cyberattacks on public infrastructure were key issues last year.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and operating technology (OT) devices must be considered as both a potential source and target of attack. Of the IoT attacks detected in 2016, some 66 percent were attempting to discover specific devices such as a particular model of video camera, three percent were seeking a web server or other type of server, while two percent were attempting to attack a database.

Phishing was still the most common type of attack delivering 73 percent of the malware that infected devices over the past year. Over 76 percent of authentication attempts included a password known to be
implemented in the Mirai botnet. Ransomware attacks also picked up, with government focused actions representing 19 percent of the total number of ransomware incidents.

The full text of the report is available here.