On 16 September, Trend Micro, an American-Japanese multinational information security software company and global cybersecurity leader, presented its semi-annual report on cyber threats, such as malware attacks, phishing, and spam.
Cybersecurity report: Italy in first place for online security attacks
The document, titled “Attacks From All Angles: 2021 Midyear Cybersecurity Report” and prepared by Trend Micro Research division, brings out relevant data on the amount and type of attacks that nations have suffered during the pandemic.
Italy remains at the top of the world rankings of the most targeted countries.
In January, it was the fifth most affected country, in February and March the fourth, and in May the third. Following the latest analysis, which considers the first six months of 2021 as a whole, Italy is ranked fourth in the world and first in Europe for both intercepted malware attacks and Covid-19 threats.
On the global podium, there is Japan with approximately 174 million attacks, the United States with 163 million and India with 29 million.
With regard to pandemic-themed threats, in addition to these countries already mentioned, there is also Colombia, with more than 460,000 hacks in the first half of 2021.
Covid 19 and cybercriminal strategies
The health emergency has been a major opportunity for cybercrime to plan online scams and cyber attacks of all kinds, aimed at illicitly exploiting situations that are particularly vulnerable.
The healthcare system and some Covid-19 healthcare infrastructures have been the target of ransomware campaigns aimed at blocking the operation of essential services, and in some cases encrypting healthcare data in return for cryptocurrency ransom payments.
Trend Micro recorded around 130,000 Covid-19-themed threats in Italy, including spam emails, computer viruses and dangerous sites.
The total number of malware blocked is 28 million, while the fake apps downloaded were more or less 28 thousand.
The most detected malware family in Italy was DownNad, while consumers were hit hardest by MalXMR and CoinMiner, which specialize in hiding inside the system to exploit computational resources and mine cryptocurrencies.
Zero Day Initiative and user awareness
Globally, Trend Micro removed a total of approximately 41 billion threats in the first half of the year through analysis by the Smart Protection Network, Trend Micro’s global intelligence network that identifies and analyzes threats and continuously updates the online database of cyber threats.
Trend Micro also created the Zero Day Initiative, the world’s largest independent bug bounty program, recognized in 2015 by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan as the top organization for a number of verified vulnerabilities.
The Zero Day Initiative intercepted 770 vulnerabilities this half-year.
Cybercriminals continued to target popular companies through the use of ransomware or by cooperating with third parties to gain access to precise networks with the aim of stealing and encrypting victims’ data and extorting money from businesses.
Other malware with significant numbers were identified, such as Business Email Compromise scams and malware in crypto and online banking.
Trend Micro, a company with more than 30 years of security experience, recommends paying close attention to the emails you receive, as more than 50% of attacks are carried out using email as a means of transmission.