The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States has reported a significant rise in cyberattacks on infrastructure organizations in 2022. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) report, 870 critical infrastructure organizations fell victim to extortion gangs.
The official number of attacks could be higher, as the FBI report only includes logged complaints with the IC3. Last year a total of 2,385 complaints were filed by victims of ransomware, leading to losses of nearly $35 million for affected businesses.
The FBI statement read: “IC3 received 870 complaints, which indicated that organizations belonging to the critical infrastructure sector became victims of attacks by Brown Unions.”
The three worst groups associated with attacks on US critical infrastructure in 2022 were Lockbit (149), Alphv/Blackcat (114), and Hive (87).
As a response to the increase in attacks, the FBI advises against victims paying ransoms to cyber criminals. Payment does not guarantee the return of data or provide long-lasting security against further attacks from the same or other hacker groups.
Instead, the FBI recommends that victims report all incidents involving ransomware programs to the IC3, who can provide crucial information for future investigations and subsequent attack prevention.
Additionally, the FBI suggests several measures organizations can take towards protecting themselves from cyberattacks:
- Regularly update operating systems and software;
- Train employees in cybersecurity, specifically in phishing scams to increase the awareness of the risks of suspicious links and investments;
- Protect and monitor the use of remote desktop protocol;
- Ensure the regular and independent backup of company data.