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Inside The Most Significant Cyber Attacks Of 2021 (So Far)

Cybercrime has been on the rise for years, but the COVID-19 outbreak seems to have further fueled the situation, and cybercrime isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon. One of the best ways to avoid the growing threat of cyber-crimes in 2021 is to understand what you are up against and proactively amp up your security.

Let’s look at some leading cyber-attacks that occurred in the first half of 2021.

Harris Federation

Harris Federation, a London-based company, experienced a ransomware attack that temporarily disabled their email systems and devices of all the 50 primary and secondary academies it oversees. This led to more than 37,000 pupils being unable to access their correspondence and coursework.

Airplane Manufacturer Bombardier

Bombardier, a famous plane manufacturer based in Canada, suffered a data breach attack in February 2021 that compromised the confidential data of customers, suppliers, and about 130 employees in Costa Rica. The investigation showed that an illicit party had gained access by exploiting a vulnerability, possibly in a third-party file-transfer app. Additionally, the stolen data was disclosed on a site operated by the Clop ransomware mob.

University Of The Highlands And Islands

A cyber-attack incident forced the university to shut all its 13 research institutions and colleges to students. Security experts revealed that the attack was initiated through Cobalt Strike, a penetration testing tool kit that professional security researchers commonly used for authentic purposes. This cyber-attack incident is just one of the many in a series that targeted the education sector.

Accellion Supply Chain Attack

Accellion, a security software provider, fell victim to a cyber-attack that targeted its file transfer system. As a result, many customers were impacted by the incident. Some high-profile companies caught in the conflict include telecom industry lead Singtel, grocery giant Kroger, the University of Colorado, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and cyber security firm Qualys. In addition, sensitive and confidential data was stolen from multiple organizations by exploiting Accellion’s FTA tool vulnerabilities; this data was later leaked on digital channels.

CNA Financial

A leading cyber insurance firm based in the United States, CNA Financial, experienced a malware cyberattack in March 2021 that disrupted the employee and customer services for three days and CNA was compelled to halt its operations to avoid further compromise. The cyber-attack used the Phoenix CryptoLocker malware’s new version, which is a form of ransomware.

Computer Maker Acer

Acer, a globally renowned computer giant, suffered a ransomware attack earlier this year. The hackers asked for a ransom of 50 million dollars, which made the record of the highest known ransom yet. It is believed that a cybercriminal group known as REvil was responsible for the attack. The malicious actors also leaked the information about the breach on their website and disclosed some stolen data images.

Wrapping Up

These incidents are merely the tip of the iceberg. However, these are also an opportunity for small and large enterprises to learn some much-needed lessons about how prevention is better than reaction. The repercussions of cyber-attacks are immense, and if left untreated and unchecked, they can spread quickly.

If you want to prevent ransomware attacks by ensuring ultimate cybersecurity for your organization, reach out to DataLocker for a custom demo.