Report: Q2 2023 Sees Biggest Surge in Global Weekly Cyberattacks in Two Years

The rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI) technology) paired with more traditional tools such as USB devices is behind a surge in cyber-attacks during the second quarter of 2023, according to a new mid-year security report. 

The report, released by Check Point Research, reveals an 8% surge in global weekly cyberattacks during the first quarter of 2023, the most significant increase noted by the research firm in two years. 

With this rise in ransomware attacks comes an evolution of new ransomware tactics. The report highlights the growing use of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology paired with traditional tools like USB devices for the rise in cyber-attacks. The report also unveils a rise in ransomware attacks during the first half of 2023. 

Ransomware groups are taking advantage of new technologies, exploiting vulnerabilities in common corporate software and shifting focus from encrypting data to stealing it. USB devices have also resurfaced as threats, employed by both state-affiliated groups and cyber-criminals to distribute malware globally. Hacktivism, targeted attacks driven by politically motivated groups, is also on the rise. Cyber-attacks targeting government agencies increased by 40% in Q2, according to Infosecurity Magazine.

The misuse of AI has escalated, as attackers use generative AI tools for phishing emails, keystroke monitoring malware and basic ransomware code.

In the first half of 2023, over 2200 victims fell victim to 48 ransomware groups. LockBit, with a 20% increase in victims compared to the previous year, is the world’s most active ransomware group. It is responsible for an estimated 40% of all ransomware infections worldwide.

From a geographic standpoint, 45 percent of the victims were in the U.S., with Africa and the Asia Pacific region facing the highest year over year increase in weekly attacks per organization.

Other highlights of the report:

  • Q2 2023 saw an 8% surge in global weekly cyberattacks, with organizations facing an average of 1258 attacks per week
  • Education and Research experiencing highest number of attacks per week with the Government/Military sector experienced the second highest number of ransomware attacks overall, with Healthcare coming in third place
  • 1 out of every 44 organizations worldwide experience a Ransomware attack every week

Cybercriminals will continue to utilize AI to their advantage as they target large organizations as well as individuals. Both the FBI and U.S. Federal Trade Commission are encouraging consumers to monitor their accounts and use caution when sharing personal information and content online. By utilizing tools like MyPrivacy360, consumers can rest assured that their PII is secure and safeguarded from cybercriminals.