Over half of critical systems in the Americas targeted: survey

Cyber-attacks that attempt to hijack key infrastructure becoming everyday events

Tags: Cyber crimeTrend Micro IncorporatedUSA
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Over half of critical systems in the Americas targeted: survey
By  Stephen McBride Published  April 7, 2015

OAS is based in Washington DC and is made up of 35 member states. The survey was given to entities operating in sectors deemed crucial by OAS members. Almost one third of respondents were public sector bodies. The majority of respondents represented the communications, security or finance industries.

Blackwell gave an example of an attack involving an unnamed financial institution, where attackers syphoned funds from accounts and then deleted transaction data, which meant the target organisation had trouble identifying which customers were entitled to reimbursement.

"That was a really important component" of the attack, Blackwell said.

Another attack saw a "diversion of resources" within a petroleum company. Blackwell also spoke of government apathy in security spending and foresees a number of possible future scenarios, including public safety concerns and power blackouts.

Other scenarios prevalent in the survey responses were hacktivist campaigns, attacks from organised crime groups and the use of ransomeware to encrypt systems until a payment is made to the attacker.

"We are facing a clear and present danger where we have non-state actors willing to destroy things," said Tom Kellerman, vice president, Trend Micro. "This is going to be the year we suffer a catastrophe in the hemisphere, and when you will see kinetic response to a threat actor."

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