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CrowdStrike Research Shows Massive Spike in Ransomware-Related Data Leaks

Cybercriminals are increasingly moving away from malware in their attacks.

Edward Gately

February 16, 2022

6 Slides

New CrowdStrike research shows an 82% increase in ransomware-related data leaks in 2021. That’s nearly 2,700 attacks last year, which compares to fewer than 1,500 in 2020.

The 8th annual CrowdStrike Global Threat Report debuts two new adversaries – Wolf (Turkey) and Ocelot (Colombia) – and adds 21 new tracked adversaries across the globe. It also outlines new operations and techniques from the big four: Iran, China, Russia and North Korea.

Moreover, it breaks down the aftermath of the Log4Shell attacks and shows adversaries are moving beyond malware.

The CrowdStrike research outlines the massive growth and impact of targeted ransomware, disruptive operations and an uptick in cloud-related attacks in 2021. The impact was felt across nearly every industry and in every country.

Key Findings

Among the findings:

  • CrowdStrike observed more than 2,700 “big game hunting” incidents in 2021. This is where malicious hackers target large firms instead of smaller organizations and individuals. They know larger enterprise companies can afford to pay bigger ransoms.

  • Adversaries increasingly are exploiting stolen user credentials and identities to bypass legacy security services.

  • The CrowdStrike eCrime Index (ECX) shows ransomware attacks were highly lucrative spanning all of 2021. The index displays the strength, volume and sophistication of the cybercriminal market.

Adam Meyers is senior vice president of intelligence at CrowdStrike.

Meyers-Adam_CrowdStrike.jpg

CrowdStrike’s Adam Meyers

“The annual Global Threat Report paints a picture that shows enterprise risk is coalescing around three critical areas: endpoints, cloud workloads, identity and data, and provides a valuable resource for organizations looking to bolster their security strategy,” he said.

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from CrowdStrike’s latest research.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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