A recent report from cybersecurity researchers Securin, Ivanti, and Cyware has highlighted the increasing popularity of ransomware attacks. The report reveals that new ransomware groups are emerging constantly, and new vulnerabilities being exploited are being discovered almost daily. Out of all the different hardware and software, Microsoft’s products are being targeted the most.
The researchers claim that attackers are now targeting more than 7,000 products built by 121 vendors, all used by businesses in their day-to-day operations. Most products belong to Microsoft, which has 135 vulnerabilities associated with ransomware. For 59 vulnerabilities, there is a complete MITRE ATT&CK kill chain, which includes two brand-new flaws. Eighteen flaws aren’t being flagged by antivirus programs.
In just March 2023, there had been more breaches reported than in all three previous years combined. It’s also important to mention here that most cybersecurity incidents never get reported, too. In the first quarter of the year, the researchers discovered 12 new vulnerabilities used in ransomware attacks, three-quarters of which (73%) were trending in the dark web.
The number of vulnerabilities discovered in open source software (OSS) is also growing, and now counts 119 flaws associated with ransomware attacks. Since OSS is used by a growing number of companies, this is an “extremely pressing concern”, the researchers concluded.
Now, 52 groups are engaged in ransomware attacks, since DEV-0569 and Karakurt entered the fray. If you think things are worse than they ever were – wait a few months, as the researchers believe they’re about to get a lot worse.
According to Srinivas Mukkamala, Chief Product Officer at Ivanti, once artificial intelligence (AI) starts getting (ab)used at scale, cyberattacks are going to get even more devastating. “We are only now starting to see the beginning of threat actors using AI to mount their attacks,” he says. “With polymorphic malware attacks and copilots for offensive computing becoming a reality, the situation will only become more complex. While not seen in the wild yet, it is only a matter of time before ransomware authors use AI to expand the list of vulnerabilities and exploits being used. This global challenge needs a global response to truly combat threat actors and keep them at bay.”
In conclusion, ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly popular, with new groups emerging constantly and new vulnerabilities being discovered almost daily. Microsoft’s products are being targeted the most, with 135 vulnerabilities associated with ransomware. The number of vulnerabilities discovered in open source software (OSS) is also growing, and now counts 119 flaws associated with ransomware attacks. With the potential for AI to be used in cyberattacks, it is essential that a global response is put in place to combat threat actors and keep them at bay.