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146bn threats detected worldwide in 2022

Cyber threat detection has shot up to record breaking numbers, according to a new report from security software company Trend Micro.

user icon Daniel Croft
Thu, 09 Mar 2023
146bn threats detected worldwide in 2022
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The company’s Rethinking Tactics: 2022 Annual Cybersecurity Report found that there was a global increase of 55 per cent from 2021 to 2022 to a massive 146 billion threats detected. Of the countries surveyed, Australia had the fifth highest.

“The unrivalled breadth of Trend Micro threat intelligence reveals 2022 as a year when threat actors went ‘all in’ to boost profits,” said Trend Micro technical director for Australia and New Zealand Mick McCluney.

Attacks using malicious files seemed to grow the most significantly, with the number blocked increasing almost 242 per cent from 2021 to 2022.

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The top globally detected malware were webshells, with a 103 per cent increase in use over 2021, followed by Emotet. LockBit and BlackCat were the top ransomware strains for the year.

The report also found that there was a 116 per cent surge in backdoor malware detections in Australia from 2021, suggesting that threat actors are hiding within networks for longer periods of time before launching an attack.

“A surge in backdoor detections is particularly concerning in showing us their success in making landfall inside networks.

“To manage risk effectively across a rapidly expanding attack surface, stretched security teams need a more streamlined, platform-based approach.”

Based on the top three MITRE ATT&CK techniques, bad actors are using remote services for initial access, and then using credential dumping to gain access to real accounts.

Worryingly, Trend Micro found that while the types of bugs and vulnerabilities being taken advantage of by bad actors hasn’t changed largely, there is a growing number of faulty and incomplete patches.

The report concludes that this is a result of patch windows becoming smaller, and businesses revealing unspecific information when disclosing a hack to the public, leaving less information for security teams.

The number of critical CVEs (common vulnerabilities and exposures) doubled in 2022 compared to 2021, however it did not exceed the number detected in 2020.

Trend Micro believes that ransomware groups will move into different areas to combat declining profits.

The report believes that there will be a focus on generating funds through initial access, such as business email compromise attacks, stock fraud, crypto theft, and more.

Trend Micro says that to best combat threat actors, organisations should make use of a platform-based approach to manage the cyber attack surface, mitigate the skills shortage and the gaps it creates, and lower the costs associated with point solutions.

For the full report and recommendations to businesses, head to the Trend Micro website here.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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