Weekly threat monitor: February 14th, 2022


The cyberattacks targeted at Ukraine and its allies have grown significantly in the past week over escalating geopolitical tensions with Russia and the United States. The cyberattacks are now showing signs of increased sophistication, frequency, and magnitude. The risk of a major breach across sectors such as oil and gas, manufacturing, and defense is now at its highest ever.  

  • Industrial control system operators need to be on their guard
  • Oil and gas companies across downstream and upstream ops need to ramp up their cyber vigil this week
  • Hackers could use Valentines Day themed phishing messages to launch large scale cyber attacks  
  • Shipping companies could be targeted through focused cyberattacks

In the United States, concerns from the highest office brings the nation to high alert, as the cyberspace becomes vulnerable to targeted cyber-attacks. 16 Critical Infrastructure segments are on high alert due to a recent advisory issued by government agencies of 3 different countries, with water and wastewater treatment facilities now ordered to get their facilities cyber secured in the following 100 days. This means more funding and additional security regulations that you will have to comply with. In other updates, ransomware attacks grow multi-fold as targeting extends to small and mid-sized companies. A recent ransomware group called BlackByte made headlines after claiming a successful attack on a prominent NFL team ahead of Super Bowl LVI.

Cyberattacks on the European energy sector grabbed the limelight as World Economic Forum weighed in on the situation saying, “The disruption could see further cascading effects, with potentially larger societal and economic impacts across all European countries”. This statement was released after continued disruption in cyberspace rippling its impacts on the efficacy of cybersecurity measures and fatigued cybersecurity teams. Instances have been recorded lately that of cyberattacks being targeted on port facilities, Oil transport, storage facilities, and communication networks across Europe. Such cascading attacks are targeting vulnerabilities found in complex IT-OT convergence and are expected to rise in the days ahead. Manufacturing entities in the Middle East and European countries involving OT systems, ICS systems, PLCs and SCADA equipment should be on high alert in the following days.

In the Asia Pacific region, supply chain attacks were observed in the previous week along with stealthy spyware to conduct reconnaissance attacks leading up to a sophisticated cyberattack. New reports develop as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and defense agencies in South Korea fell victims to cyberattacks launched by North Korea.This news also sheds light on the increasing attacks involved in stealing cryptocurrency.

India also faced stringent cyberattacks emerging from Pakistan and China. The recorded cyberattacks reveal an added layer of sophistication in attempts to disrupt as India embraces the digital era and widens its cyber canvas via massive digital transformation efforts.

Weekly advisory

Segments under this list must be on high alert in the coming weeks:

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