Cyber attacks are increasingly targeting personal data and hackers linked to China are on the rise, according to a new cybersecurity report.
Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike’s latest Global Threat Report showed that the number of attacks using malware has dropped in the last year, with hackers instead using “hands-on keyboard activity” to breach organisations.
CrowdStrike said it had also seen an uptick in social engineering tactics, where hackers target specific employees at firms and attempt to trick them into handing over their log in credentials in order to carry out an attack.
According to the report, the amount of advertisements on the dark web linked to personal identity data has more than doubled in the last year, highlighting how personal information – often in the form of business access credentials – are been increasingly seen as valuable to cybercriminals.
It also warned that old vulnerabilities were still being used by hackers as a way of breaking into systems.
Another key theme identified was a rise in cyber attacks linked to China, CrowdStrike said.
A number of cybersecurity experts in the UK have repeatedly warned of the threat posed by China.
Adam Meyers, head of intelligence at CrowdStrike, said: “The past 12 months brought a unique combination of threats to the forefront of security.
“Splintered eCrime groups re-emerged with greater sophistication, relentless threat actors sidestepped patched or mitigated vulnerabilities, and the feared threats of the Russia-Ukraine conflict masked more sinister and successful traction by a growing number of China-nexus adversaries.
“Today’s threat actors are smarter, more sophisticated, and more well resourced than they have ever been in the history of cybersecurity.
“Only by understanding their rapidly evolving tradecraft, techniques and objectives – and by embracing technology fuelled by the latest threat intelligence – can companies remain one step ahead of today’s increasingly relentless adversaries.”