SonicWall, publisher of the world’s most cited ransomware threat intelligence, today released new threat intelligence for the third quarter of 2022. SonicWall has seen more than 4 billion malware attacks worldwide, while ransomware attacks in 2022 have already surpassed the combined total of four out of the last five years. In the recent SonicWall Cyber Threat Mindset Survey 2022, 91% of organizations said they were most concerned about ransomware attacks, indicating a growing concern among security professionals.
“Being a security professional has never been more difficult,” said Bob VanKirk, President and CEO of SonicWall. “The frontline of cyber warfare continues to shift, presenting dangerous threats to organizations of all sizes. With ever-expanding attack surfaces, a growing number of threats, and the current geopolitical landscape, it should come as no surprise that even the most seasoned IT pro can feel overwhelmed. Armed with the latest cybersecurity tools, SonicWall partners can play a critical role in helping customers stay secure in even the most dynamic threat environments.”
Shift ransomware attacks, intensify tactics, diversify
After a record-breaking 2021, ransomware attacks overall are down in the first three quarters of 2022 – particularly in the United States (-51%). Attack locations have continued to shift, however, as ransomware attacks have skyrocketed in the UK (20%), EMEA (38%) and APJ (56%) compared to the same period last year. SonicWall proprietary threat intelligence also revealed that Q3 2022 was the lowest quarterly ransomware volume since Q3 2020. SonicWall even saw a decline of 338.4 million ransomware attempts since the beginning of the year.
It’s easier than ever to launch ransomware attacks. With ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) offerings, even less-technical cybercriminals can purchase ransomware kits on the dark web and target organizations with minimal experience.
Ransomware actors are also diversifying their business models and expanding their networks as demand for their services continues to grow, leading to an explosion in the variety of different tools and resources offered through illicit marketplaces. According to SonicWall survey data, organizations are concerned about the ease of launching ransomware attacks, and 89% reported concerns about financially-motivated threats.
“Ransomware has evolved at an alarming rate, particularly in the last five years, not only in terms of volume but also in terms of attack vectors,” said SonicWall Emerging Threat Expert Immanuel Chavoya. “The latest Q3 data shows how bad actors are becoming smarter in developing evolutionary strains and becoming more targeted in their attacks.”
Cryptojacking, IoT Malware Volume Continues Uptrend
Hackers are increasingly targeting financial companies such as banks and trading houses with cyber attacks aimed at maliciously using computer systems to illegally mine cryptocurrencies. Global cryptojacking numbers increased 35% in three quarters, including a 377% increase in EMEA and a 160% increase in APJ.
As more smart devices enter the digital space every day, the need for security for the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing. IoT devices have multiple ways of connecting to a network, allowing multiple attack vectors to be exploited. IoT malware grew 92% globally, with 82% and 200% jumps in APJ and North America, respectively.
“With over 1.4 million endpoints collecting data worldwide, SonicWall has more data to uncover emerging threat trends and provide a true representation of what’s happening in the cyber threat landscape,” said Michael Crean, CEO of Solutions Granted ( SGI). “They say knowledge is power, and SonicWall’s proprietary data helps SGI stay informed, which in turn helps us educate our customer base. Leveraging SonicWall research helps SGI take actionable steps to keep our customers safer!”