Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security //

Data Leakage

5/8/2018
08:05 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
50%
50%

Number of Data Breach Reports Fell More Than 50% in Q1 – Study

The number of reported data breaches fell more than 50% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same time in 2017, as attackers focused more on cryptomining and cryptojacking schemes.

The number of reported data breaches fell by more than 50% when comparing the first quarter of this year to the same time period in 2017, as cybercriminals switched from ransomware to more lucrative cryptomining and cryptojacking schemes, a new industry survey released Tuesday revealed.

In the first quarter of 2017, there were 1,442 data breaches reported and that resulted in over 3 billion records being exposed. In the first three months of this year, however, the number of reported breaches dropped to 686 incidents with 1.4 billion records exposed.

Most of the records exposed this year are related to a single incident that happened in India, according to Risk Based Security, which released its first-quarter data breach report on May 8.

While the number of data breaches fell 52% year-over-year, attackers remained busy as the number of cryptomining and crypojacking incidents increased as cybercriminals turned their attention to the volatile cryptocurrency market, where speculators and investors have pushed prices upward over the last six months.

The Risk Based Security report reflects other industry surveys that show as the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies began to rise at the end of 2017, cybercriminals turned away from ransomware as cryptomining schemes became much more lucrative. (See Malwarebytes: Cryptomining Surges as Ransomware Declines.)

While trends in security and cybercrime are hard to predict, Inga Goddijn, the executive vice president of Risk Based Security, notes that these cryptomining and cryptojacking incidents are unlikely to stop anytime soon. (See Android Crypto Mining Attacks Go for Monero .)

"For financially motivated actors, it appears to be a much more reliable method of monetizing their activity," Goddijn wrote an email to Security Now, adding:

Ransomware can be very effective -- we wouldn't have seen the level of activity in 2017 that we did if it wasn't -- but for ransomware to work as a money-making scheme the impacted organization has to pay the extortion demand. Stealing resources to mine for currency can produce more consistent returns. That's the beauty of these schemes -- they don't rely on people making the decision to pay. The malware starts to produce results once it's successfully launched in the victim's system. As long as crypto mining activities produce income, I expect the activity will be with us even if currency valuations decline somewhat.

These cryptomining incidents are now so widespread, Google took the unusual step of announcing that it would ban all cryptomining extensions from its Chrome store by the end of the year. (See Google Web Store Bans Cryptomining Extensions.)

Breaches still a factor
Despite the shift from stealing data to cryptomining schemes, data breaches remain a significant concern for many enterprises. The report finds that more than 50% of the reported incidents in the first quarter involved the business sector, with government (14.4%), medical (10.2%) and education (7%) affected during this time as well.

The report notes that one incident, a data breach involving India's Aadhaar database, which the government uses to track identification and biometric documents of citizens, accounted for 81% of the 1.4 billion record exposed during the quarter.

Also of interest in the report is that the number of data breaches involving fraud jumped, with 1.27 billion records exposed by this method during the quarter. (Hacking remains the most common cause of a data breaches, with nearly 39% of incidents related to this type of attack.)


The fundamentals of network security are being redefined -- don't get left in the dark by a DDoS attack! Join us in Austin from May 14-16 at the fifth-annual Big Communications Event. There's still time to register and communications service providers get in free!

Once again, this is due to one specific case: The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica incident first reported by the UK press about two months ago. (See Facebook Privacy Policy Is Under Investigation by FTC.)

In her email, Goddijn noted that while the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica incident does not reflect a typical data breach, the fallout and security questions it raised should serve as a warning sign to enterprises everywhere.

"The event had all of the classic fallout we'd expect to see from a security breach," Goddijin wrote. "Lawsuits were filed, regulatory investigations were launched, executives were summoned to testify at governmental hearings and the public backlash was immediate. What's more, Facebook's response was very similar with what we'd expect to see with a major security breach, announcing a sweeping audit of third-party application providers and even a data abuse bounty program to complement their existing bug bounty program. As data collection and use issues start to look more and more like data security problems, we should expect the security industry to be tapped to provide solutions."

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/14/2020
Lock-Pickers Face an Uncertain Future Online
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  8/10/2020
Hacking It as a CISO: Advice for Security Leadership
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 New Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities That Could Put Your Enterprise at Risk
In this Dark Reading Tech Digest, we look at the ways security researchers and ethical hackers find critical vulnerabilities and offer insights into how you can fix them before attackers can exploit them.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17475
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
Lack of authentication in the network relays used in MEGVII Koala 2.9.1-c3s allows attackers to grant physical access to anyone by sending packet data to UDP port 5000.
CVE-2020-0255
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2020-10751. Reason: This candidate is a duplicate of CVE-2020-10751. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2020-10751 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to prevent accidenta...
CVE-2020-14353
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2017-18270. Reason: This candidate is a duplicate of CVE-2017-18270. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2017-18270 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to prevent accidenta...
CVE-2020-17464
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Further investigation showed that it was not a security issue. Notes: none.
CVE-2020-17473
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-14
Lack of mutual authentication in ZKTeco FaceDepot 7B 1.0.213 and ZKBiosecurity Server 1.0.0_20190723 allows an attacker to obtain a long-lasting token by impersonating the server.