In the last few years, cyberattacks sponsored by governments have become a major concern for all. These attacks are conducted with malicious intent to snatch confidential data and hamper essential functions of particular entities or countries. Reports from Atlas VPN’s research data based on Council on Foreign Relations Cyber Operations Tracker, reveal that Ukraine was targeted in 29 such state-sponsored assaults in 2022. China and Russia respectively spearheaded 44 and 38 state-sponsored cyberattacks.
The United States suffered 14 state-sponsored cyberattacks, most of which came from Iran or China-backed hackers who launched phishing and malware campaigns against US companies or government entities.
State-backed hackers executed 7 attacks on Russia in 2022. Most of them were by the Ukrainian IT army in response to Kremlin’s started war on Ukraine. Several DDoS attacks took down the banks, media, and Russian government websites.
South Korea was affected 6 state-sponsored cyberattacks. North Korean cybercriminals were accountable for most of the threats. Moreover, they were behind all 5 attacks on cryptocurrency companies. They later used the stolen funds to sponsor further threats and espionage.
India experienced 5 state-sponsored cyberattacks. Israel, as well as government institutions in the Middle East and EU member states, each suffered 4 government-backed hacker attacks. Turkey was victim of 3 cyberattacks in 2022.
Governments around the world are engaged in a fierce competition to acquire as much intelligence and data as possible. Cyberattacks that were orchestrated by various countries have served multiple purposes, not limited to espionage alone – 11 of these illegal activities with malicious intent involved financial theft while 8 included destruction or manipulation of valuable information. In 2022, 110 state-backed threats were specifically designed for spying on other nations and organizations.
7 government-backed attacks were launched to sabotage a business or government agency. 6 DDoS cyberattacks paralyzed computer networks or websites. Cybercriminals unauthorizedly changed the appearance of a website one time.
Governments were the primary focal point for malicious cyber activities, as state-backed hackers launched an astounding 75 attacks. Businesses faced a significant 55 nation-sponsored attempts to infiltrate their systems while journalists and human rights activists sadly experienced 48 hacking incidents. Military targets sustained 8 state-sponsored assaults.
state-sponsored cyberattacks are growing in prevalence and sophistication, creating a real danger to global stability. To resist this threat and protect trust in cyberspace, governments must commit to working together on viable rules of engagement for cyberspace operations – an essential step towards protecting us all from malicious cyber activities.
Read the report here.