Cybersecurity is more important than ever in today's world. With cyber attacks becoming more and more common, businesses must take steps to protect themselves from these dangerous threats. And you can’t fight what you don’t know — that’s why we’re going to look at the five most dangerous cyber attacks of 2021.
As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. And in the world of cybersecurity, that is certainly true. The more you know about different kinds of cyber threats, the better equipped you’ll be to protect yourself.
The 5 most dangerous cyber attacks of 2021
The SolarWinds attack is a cyberattack that was technically discovered in December 2020. The cyberattack compromised the supply chain of IT management and monitoring software company, SolarWinds. The attackers were able to insert malicious code into SolarWinds' software updates, which were then downloaded and installed by SolarWinds' customers. This gave the attackers access to these businesses’ networks, which they could then exploit for their own purposes.
This kind of supply chain attack, as it is known, is particularly devious because it is able to slip by many defenses, like firewalls, since the updates are being installed from a trusted source.
Experts believe that the cyber attackers behind SolarWinds are a nation-state actor, though this has not been confirmed. The United States government has accused Russia of being behind the attack, but Russia has denied these allegations.
Microsoft Exchange Server attack
The Microsoft Exchange Server attacks are a series of cyberattacks that targeted on-premises Exchange Server deployments. The attackers used vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Exchange Server to gain access to the servers and then install malware that allowed them to spy on the email communications of at least 30,000 organizations in the U.S. and 250,000 globally. The bad actors behind the Microsoft Exchange Server attacks are believed to be a China-based hacking group known as Hafnium.
REvil demands $50M ransom
In May 2021, the cybercriminal group REvil stole sensitive information from Apple supplier, Quanta, and then demanded a $50 million ransom to not release the data. The cyber attackers gained access to Quanta's network in April and stole data that included engineering blueprints, product designs, and other sensitive information.
The assault took place days before reports emerged that the Department of Justice had established a ransomware unit and a week before an announcement stating that the Biden administration would release a strategy to combat ransomware.
Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack
In May 2021, Colonial Pipeline was hit with a ransomware attack that caused it to shut down operations for roughly a week. The attackers also threatened to release stolen data if the company didn’t meet their demands. Colonial Pipeline's CEO authorized a $4.4 million ransom payment to get their systems back up and running.
The Colonial Pipeline supplies fuel to much of the East Coast of the USA and is a critical piece of infrastructure. The cyber attack caused panic and a run on gas stations in the affected areas.
The cyber attackers behind the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack are believed to be a criminal group known as DarkSide. The group posted an apology on their website following the incident stating, "Our goal is to make money, and not create problems for society... From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our [customers] want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future."
Kaseya cybersecurity attack
In June 2021 REvil struck again, but this time against Kaseya, an IT management and monitoring software provider. The cyber attackers gained access to Kaseya's systems and then deployed ransomware that encrypted the company's data. This time REvil demanded a ransom of $70 million in exchange for not releasing the stolen data.
What do these attacks have in common?
Across all of these attacks, one thing remains constant — no matter what your business is, there are countless cybercriminal groups out there ready to exploit weaknesses. The best way to avoid being targeted is to anticipate and prepare for potential attacks.
To protect your business from cyber attacks, it's crucial to have a comprehensive cybersecurity plan in place. This plan should include a variety of measures like firewalls, endpoint protection, and employee training. You want something that provides end-to-end protection — covering all your bases.
But even with a comprehensive cybersecurity plan, cyber attacks can still happen. That's why it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest cyber threats and be aware of the steps you can take to protect your business.
Keeping the attacks we mentioned above in mind as you build your cyber security plan can help you prepare for various threats you might face in the future.
Let Samurai XDR help you protect your business
If the idea of trying to protect against every cyber attack is overwhelming, you can turn to a trusted partner like Samurai XDR for help.
Samurai XDR is a powerful AI security solution that helps businesses protect themselves from cyber attacks. We provide real-time protection against known cyber threats and can detect and block attacks that have never been seen before.
We’re ready to show you just how easy it can be to protect your business. Contact us today to learn how we can help!
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