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Last quarter, hackers mainly set their sights on government agencies and the public sector. The number of attacks increased by forty percent from a quarter earlier.

Governments and the public sector are in demand by hackers. BlackBerry’s Quarterly Global Threat Intelligence report sees a 40 percent increase in cyber attacks.

‘Maximum damage from poor security’

The research team sees an explanation in the weaker security that would characterize government agencies and the public sector. “Governments and public services, such as public transportation, schools and nonprofit organizations, are interesting prey for cybercriminals. These criminals usually cause maximum damage because these sectors are often poorly secured,” said Ismael Valenzuela, vice president of Threat Research and Intelligence at BlackBerry.

Last quarter, the pro-Russian hacker group KillNet launched a DDoS attack on the European Investment Bank (EIB) websites. That could be because the target falls into categories proving hugely interesting to hackers. Indeed, most of the attacks targeted financial services and healthcare. The websites of the EIB were inaccessible for several hours as a result, but such an attack does not do more damage.

Norway suffered more severe consequences from a hack on 12 Norwegian authorities. The breach allowed hackers to potentially access sensitive data. Most blame can be placed on Ivanti, as the hackers gained access through a vulnerability in the company’s Endpoint Manager Mobile solution.

Hackers anticipate new security

Although it must also be said that hackers are always coming up with new ways to circumvent security tools, they anticipate new technologies. The study sees that this time reflected an increase in the number of cyber attacks per minute. Last quarter, 1.7 malware samples per minute were deployed, good for a thirteen percent increase over the quarter-ago average.