More than 40,417,167,937 pieces of data were hacked or lost last year. In 2021, many hackers deployed ransomware in order to collect Bitcoin ransoms by exploiting security flaws.
The “Threat Landscape Report”, an annual report published by Tenable, an American cybersecurity company, paints an alarming picture data leaks from last year. In short, there have never been so many data leaks as in 2021, as Damien Bancal, IT security expert from the Zataz blog, points out.
“In 2021, 21,957 new exploits were awarded from January to November, a 20% increase from 2020. 105 zero-day vulnerabilities disclosed, a 262% increase from 29 in 2020”, explains Tenable in its report. Figures of this ilk are legion.
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The resurgence of ransomware
According to Tenable, at least 40,417,167,937 miscellaneous data records found themselves exposed on the web last year, an increase of 78% compared to 2020. For example, the identity cards of 3000 French people were put up for sale on the dark web. A few months earlier, we found the data of 39 million French people for sale on a black market.
Unsurprisingly, Tenable points to the resurgence of ransomware. Over the past year, many firms have indeed been victims of malware of this ilk. This type of virus steals confidential data and trades it in exchange.
Deployed by groups of experienced hackers, these ransomware managed to paralyze important infrastructure. Last May, a ransomware paralyzed all the activities of the oil pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline. This carries more than 45% of the fuel on the East Coast of the United States. The hackers demanded a ransom in Bitcoin worth $4.4 million.
Among the most disturbing breaches of the past year was the flaw identified in Log4j, a logging utility based on Java present in many web application frameworks. The vulnerability put servers from companies like Apple, Amazon, Twitter and Cloudflare at risk. However, “it is important not to let Log4Shell distract our attention from the myriad of other vulnerabilities”says Tenable.