According to a Microsoft report (Opens in a new window) , the percentage of nation-state cyberattacks that target vital infrastructure has increased from 20% to 40% in the last year.

Microsoft attributed the increase to Russia’s intention to harm the infrastructure of Ukraine as well as its “aggressive” espionage targeting of Ukraine’s allies, particularly the US.

Russia allegedly made attempts to hack IT companies in order to interfere with or collect information from those companies’ government agency clients in NATO member states, according to an blog post (Opens in a new window) published by the company.

According to the research, 48% of Russian attacks in the last year targeted IT companies with headquarters in NATO nations, and 90% of those attacks targeted NATO member states.

This year, Iran increased its attacks on adversaries. In one incident, an Iranian actor carried out an attack that caused Israel’s emergency missile sirens to sound, and Microsoft also discovered an attempt to wipe Israeli data.

Israel and Iran have been at war online for many years. Iran said that Israel launched an major cyberattack (Opens in a new window) against a strategically significant Iranian port in 2020. After the attack’s computer system broke at the site, there were days of chaotic traffic and miles-long lineups of moving vehicles.

And this year, Israel was subjected to the biggest cyberattack in the nation’s history, a defense establishment insider told the Israeli daily Haaretz (Opens in a new window) . A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack caused a number of official websites to fall offline.


Another story from Microsoft detailed an unsuccessful attempt by North Korean actors to hack cryptocurrency companies and steal money to help the struggling economy of their nation.

In the past year, China’s strikes have also increased. After the country signed a military deal with China, Microsoft discovered malware from a Chinese actor on cyber systems belonging to the government of the Solomon Islands. The IT behemoth also discovered Chinese cyberattacks in countries in the global south, including as Namibia, Mauritius, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Relations between China and the US have reached all-time lows this year. In September, Beijing accused the US of conducting “ tens of thousands (Opens in a new window) ” cyberattacks against a prestigious public research university with a focus on aerospace and space science, among other targets.

Nearly half of local government employees in the US have been found to use outdated Android devices, making them susceptible to hacker attacks.
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