If it wasn’t clear that cybersecurity is the new frontier in our evermore-connected world, a recent report from Microsoft, entitled the “Digital Defense Report,” details how rapidly escalating security threats are growing in sophistication and pervasiveness from nation state actors in China, Iran, North Korea, South Korea and Russia. Specifically, ransomware attacks enabled by widespread phishing campaigns that steal credentials are on the rise, along with a myriad of other high profile targets and the IoT.
“This report makes it clear that threat actors have rapidly increased in sophistication over the past year, using techniques that make them harder to spot and that threaten even the savviest targets. For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware,” notes Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Customer Security And Trust, Tom Burt. This particular observation Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report makes is both troubling and obvious at the same time. Cybercriminals hiding the vast resources of cloud infrastructure are the new normal. Malicious bots powered by mainstream cloud resources have random IPs that aren’t easy to trace back to nefarious individuals and organizations.
Meanwhile, botnets fueled by compromised IoT devices with weak credentials harness hundreds of thousands of machine resources to wage DDoS attacks at a very large scale. In fact, in the first 6 months of 2020, there was 35% increase in IoT attack volume, versus the same period in 2019. To say that things are getting a bit out of hand would be