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Worrying increase in hands-on hacking campaigns by 2020

According to her research Crowdstrike, in the first months of 2020 there was a significant increase in sophisticated hands-on hacking attacks.

We talk about hands-on violation when the same hackers explore breached systems and do not use programmed scripts performing automated processes.

The increase in hands-on attacks is largely related to continuous evolution of hackers. Cybercriminals are constantly developing new tools, techniques and procedures. At the same time, his pandemic COVID-19 gave the opportunity to hackers to carry out even more attacks.

The researchers looked at a number of hands-ons attacks and analyzed their findings in the report Threat Hunting Report 2020. In the first half of 2020, 41.000 intrusions were discovered, a number that exceeds the total hands-on intrusions of the whole of 2019 (35.000).

The Vice President of Crowdstrike, Jennifer Ayers, said the increase in attacks in 2020 is worrying.

"Keep in mind that the report essentially refers to the first half of the year and in half a year we have already significantly exceeded the number of attacks we observed in 2019 and 2018"

In hands-on hacking campaigns, hackers gain access to the victims' network by using stolen or exposed credentials. Then they acquire access in accounts and systems and spread across the network. And because access is essentially legal, it is difficult to observe unusual activity.

In the past, this type of attack was mainly used by state hackers, but now other hacking groups are carrying out such attacks.

The state hackers use hands-on invasions for espionage campaigns and theft intellectual property. The other groups usually use them for ransomware attacks that encrypt entire networks.

According to researchers, almost all industrial sectors have experienced hands-on invasions this year. THE technology, The telecommunications and finances are the most targeted areas.

However, despite the dramatic increase in attacks, the organizations can be protected by following some basic security measures, such as application updatesThe use strong passwords and make copies security. The multi-factor authentication is also very important for the protection of accounts.

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