Acronis’ Mid-Year Cyberthreats Report Finds Ransomware is the Number-One Threat to Organizations, Projects Damages to exceed $30 Billion by 2023

Increasing complexity in IT continues to lead to breaches and compromises highlighting the need for more holistic approaches to Cyber Protection

Acronis research unveils the top-10 most commonly impersonated brands in phishing emails.

The Acronis Mid-Year Cyberthreats Report 2022 found that brands such as DHL and Microsoft are the most commonly impersonated in phishing emails.

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland, Aug. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection, unveiled its mid-year cyberthreats report, conducted by Acronis’ Cyber Protection Operation Centers, to provide an in-depth review of the cyberthreat trends the company’s experts are tracking. The report details how ransomware continues to be the number one threat to large and medium-sized businesses, including government organizations, and underlines how over-complexity in IT and infrastructure leads to increased attacks. Nearly half of all reported breaches during the first half of 2022 involved stolen credentials, which enable phishing and ransomware campaigns. Findings underscore the need for more holistic approaches to cybersecurity.

To extract credentials and other sensitive information, cybercriminals use phishing and malicious emails as their preferred infection vectors. Nearly one percent of all emails contain malicious links or files, and more than one-quarter (26.5%) of all emails were delivered to the user’s inbox (not blocked by Microsoft365) and then were removed by Acronis email security.

Moreover, the research reveals how cybercriminals also use malware and target unpatched software vulnerabilities to extract data and hold organizations hostage. Further complicating the cybersecurity threat landscape is the proliferation of attacks on non-traditional entry avenues. Attackers have made cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance systems a priority of late. Successful breaches using these various routes have resulted in the loss of billions of dollars and terabytes of exposed data.

These attacks are able to be launched due to overcomplexity in IT, a common problem throughout businesses as many tech leaders assume more vendors and programs lead to improved security when the inverse is actually true. Increased complexity exposes more surface area and gaps to potential attackers, keeping organizations vulnerable to potentially devastating damage.

“Today’s cyberthreats are constantly evolving and evading traditional security measures,” said Candid Wüest, Acronis VP of Cyber Protection Research. “Organizations of all sizes need a holistic approach to cybersecurity that integrates everything from anti-malware to email-security and vulnerability-assessment capabilities. Cybercriminals are becoming too sophisticated and the results of attacks too dire to leave it to single-layered approaches and point solutions.”

Critical data points reveal complex threat landscape
As reliance on the cloud increases, attackers have homed in on different entryways to cloud-based networks. Cybercriminals increased their focus on Linux operating systems and managed service providers (MSPs) and their network of SMB customers. The threat landscape is shifting, and companies must keep pace.

Ransomware is worsening, even more so than we predicted.

  • Ransomware gangs, like Conti and Lapsus$, are inflicting serious damage.
  • The Conti gang demanded $10 million in ransom from the Costa Rican government and has published much of the 672 GB of data it stole.
  • Lapsus$ stole 1 TB of data and leaked credentials of over 70,000 NVIDIA users. The same gang also stole 30 GB worth of T-Mobile’s source code.
  • The U.S. Department of State is concerned, offering up to $15 million for information about the leadership and co-conspirators of Conti.

The use of phishing, malicious emails and websites, and malware continues to grow.

  • Six hundred malicious email campaigns made their way across the internet in the first half of 2022.
  • 58% of the emails were phishing attempts.
  • Another 28% of those emails featured malware.
  • The business world is increasingly distributed, and in Q2 2022, an average of 8.3% of endpoints tried to access malicious URLs.

More cybercriminals are focusing on cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. By exploiting flaws in smart contracts or stealing recovery phrases and passwords with malware or phishing attempts, hackers have wormed their way into crypto wallets and exchanges alike.

  • Cyberattacks have contributed to a loss of more than $60 billion in DeFi currency since 2012.
  • $44 billion of that vanished during the last 12 months.

Unpatched vulnerabilities of exposed services is another common infection vector—just ask Kaseya. To that end, companies like Microsoft, Google, and Adobe have emphasized software patches and transparency around publicly submitted vulnerabilities. These patches likely helped stem the tide of 79 new exploits each month. Unpatched vulnerabilities also tie into how overcomplexity is hurting businesses more than helping, as all of these vulnerabilities serve as additional potential points of failure.

Breaches leave financial, SLA distress in their wake
Cybercriminals often demand ransoms or outright steal funds from their targets. But companies do not suffer challenges only to their bottom lines. Attacks often cause downtime and other service-level breaches, impacting a company’s reputation and customer experience.

  • In 2021 alone, the FBI attributed a total loss of $2.4 billion to business email compromise (BEC).
  • Cyberattacks caused more than one-third (36%) of downtime in 2021.

The current cybersecurity threat landscape requires a multi-layered solution that combines anti-malware, EDR, DLP, email security, vulnerability assessment, patch management, RMM, and backup capabilities all in one place. The integration of these various components gives companies a better chance of avoiding cyberattacks, mitigating the damage of successful attacks, and retaining data that might have been altered or stolen in the process.

You can download a copy of the full Acronis Mid-Year Cyberthreats Report 2022 here or you can learn more here.

About Acronis:

Acronis unifies data protection and cybersecurity to deliver integrated, automated cyber protection that solves the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) challenges of the modern digital world. With flexible deployment models that fit the demands of service providers and IT professionals, Acronis provides superior cyber protection for data, applications, and systems with innovative next-generation antivirus, backup, disaster recovery, and endpoint protection management solutions powered by AI. With advanced anti-malware powered by cutting-edge machine intelligence and blockchain based data authentication technologies, Acronis protects any environment – from cloud to hybrid to on premises – at a low and predictable cost.

Founded in Singapore in 2003 and incorporated in Switzerland in 2008, Acronis now has more than 2,000 employees in 34 locations in 19 countries. Acronis Cyber Protect solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.

Press contacts:
Karl Bateson
+617 306 6275
Karl.Bateson@acronis.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/9f49cf4f-3c5a-4f4d-9105-14872774652c


Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group Wins Multiple Hydrogen Fueling Station Contracts in California and South Korea

TEMECULA, Calif., Aug. 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group (“CE&IG”), a part of the Nikkiso Co., Ltd (Japan) group of companies, is proud to be the recipient of multiple contracts to provide over a dozen Hydrogen Fueling Stations (“HFS”) to customers in California and South Korea. These stations, intended to be operational between Q4 2023 and Q2 2024, cover fueling stations for light-duty, heavy-duty, and transit fuel cell vehicles that need H35 and H70 dispensing.

“As an ambassador member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (“CaFCP”) and core leader of cryogenic technology, Nikkiso is key in connecting the hydrogen ecosystem to advance the clean energy agenda,” said Peter Wagner, CEO of Nikkiso CE&IG.

“We are pleased to offer flexible and scalable commercial and technical offers where our customers need us the most: from equipment fabricator to turnkey EPC solutions,” said Joseph Pak, President of the Nikkiso Integrated Cryogenic Solutions.

The purchase orders have a combined value of almost US$60 million. Nikkiso has dedicated over 150,000 ft2 (14,000 m2) square feet of floor space to mass produce hydrogen fueling stations in Murrieta, CA, Escondido, CA, Busan, S. Korea, and Neuenbürg, Germany. Every station will be manufactured to comply with the local content requirements, including the Buy America Act for the US Hydrogen Hub market.

Starting with these hydrogen station projects, the Nikkiso Group aims to further expand their hydrogen-related business by strengthening their participation in the hydrogen supply chain and expanding into the global market.

About Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group
Nikkiso’s CE&IG is part of the Nikkiso Co., Ltd group of companies. Nikkiso Co. is a $1.4B public company. CE&IG comprises five distinct functional units: Cryogenic Pumps (ACD, Nikkiso Cryo), Process Systems (Cosmodyne), Heat Exchanger Systems (Cryoquip), Cryogenic Services (through 20 global facilities) and Integrated Cryogenic Solutions (providing centralized management of products and project development). In 2020, CE&IG expanded its capabilities further with the acquisition of what was GP- Strategies’ Alternative Fuels Division. This addition provides yet another major manufacturing facility in Southern California. Acknowledged as a market leader in the design, engineering, manufacturing, construction and maintenance of Cryogenic infrastructure, this facility offers full in-house capabilities from engineering & permitting through manufacturing, construction, and maintenance.

For over 50 years, Nikkiso has been a leader in the Clean Energy industry and are leading the change to a healthier world. With our hydrogen fueling technology, Nikkiso has become a leader in the evolving hydrogen revolution, including a project on the world’s first LH2 bunkering facility. For more information visit www.NikkisoCEIG.com.

For more information, please visit www.nikkisoCEIG.com and www.nikkiso.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Anna Quigley
+1.951.383.3314
aquigley@cryoind.com

Nigeria Integrates Rotavirus Vaccine into National Vaccination Programs Amid Shortfalls

Nigeria this week added a rotavirus vaccine to its national program that is expected to prevent 50,000 deaths of children per year from the diarrheal disease. But the launch comes amid shortages of the vaccine in countries such as Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania.

The launch Monday coincided with the commemoration of Africa Vaccination Week.

Officials from the World Health Organization, the United Nations children’s agency, as well as Nigeria’s Health Ministry, attended the launch in the capital.

During the event, many young children received the vaccine for free, while authorities urged citizens to embrace the measure.

“They’ll get the opportunity of taking it when they’re taking other vaccines,” said Faisal Shuaib, executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency. “We need to seize this opportunity — mothers, caregivers — so that our children will be protected from this virus.”

Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrheal disease in children under 5 years old. WHO says that globally, up to 200,000 children die each year from the disease.

Authorities say the oral vaccine could prevent up to a third of severe diarrhea cases in Nigeria.

WHO country representative Walter Kazadi Mulombo also attended the launch.

“The introduction of the rotavirus vaccine provides the opportunity to reduce the number of children dying every day from diarrheal disease caused by rotavirus,” he said.

But this month, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline said manufacturing challenges had led to a shortfall of 4 million doses of the rotavirus this year, as well as delays in delivery.

According to GAVI-the Vaccine Alliance, the company already said it would reduce deliveries of the rotavirus vaccine by 10 million a year between 2022 and 2028.

Moses Njoku, a research fellow at Nigeria’s National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, said a shortfall should not be a challenge to Nigeria.

“The issue of them thinning out shouldn’t be a threat to a country like Nigeria if we use our internal potential,” Njoku said. “Nigeria is beginning to see the need to start indigenous efforts to start research and production, development of vaccines, as well as production of known vaccines.”

Njoku also said authorities must take delivery of the rotavirus vaccines in batches to avoid waste.

“If care is not taken, they will not be imported at the right time,” he said, adding that some might ship with little time left before an expiration date. “So, eventually you won’t even use up to 10,000 doses and you have paid the money. The supply chain management system is also very poor.”

For now, authorities will be trying to get as many children vaccinated as possible.

Source: Voice of America

Europe facing worst drought in 500 years: EU agency

Europe is experiencing its worst drought in at least 500 years, with almost two-thirds of the continent in a state of alert or warning, a European Union (EU) agency said in Brussels on Tuesday, Xinhua reported on 23 Aug.

In its August analytical report, the European Drought Observatory (EDO) said that some 47 percent of Europe is under warning conditions due to a severe lack of soil moisture.

Another 17 percent of countries are in alert conditions.

“The severe drought affecting many regions of Europe since the beginning of the year has been further expanding and worsening as of early August,” the report said, adding that the western Europe-Mediterranean region is likely to experience warmer and drier than usual conditions until November.

The drought has disrupted inland shipping and electricity production, and reduced the yields of certain crops, it said.

The current drought appears to be the worst in at least 500 years, assuming final data at the end of the season confirm the preliminary assessment, the European Commission said in a statement.

Summer crops have suffered, with 2022 yields of grain maize set to be 16 percent below the average of the previous five years and soybean and sunflowers yields are set to decrease by 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Hydropower generation has also suffered a hit, with further impact on other power producers due to a shortage of water to feed cooling systems.

Low water levels have hampered inland shipping along the river Rhine and elsewhere, with reduced shipping loads affecting coal and oil transport.

Mariya Gabriel, European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, said: “The combination of a severe drought and heat waves has created unprecedented stress on water levels in the entire EU. We are currently noticing a wildfires season sensibly above the average and an important impact on crops production. Climate change is undoubtedly more noticeable every year.”

Source: Lao News Agency

US Judge Blocks Idaho Abortion Ban in Emergencies

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked Idaho from enforcing an abortion ban when women with pregnancy complications require emergency care, a day after a judge in Texas ruled against President Joe Biden’s administration on the same issue.

The conflicting rulings came in two of the first lawsuits over the Democratic administration’s attempts to ease abortion access after the conservative majority U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

Legal experts said the two state rulings, if upheld on appeal, could force the Supreme Court to wade back into the debate.

About half of all U.S. states have or are expected to seek to ban or curtail abortions following Roe’s reversal. Those states include Idaho and Texas, which like 11 others adopted “trigger” laws banning abortion upon such a decision.

Abortion is already illegal in Texas under a separate, nearly century-old abortion ban that recently took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. Idaho’s trigger ban takes effect on Thursday, the same day as those in Texas and Tennessee.

In Idaho, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill agreed with the U.S. Justice Department that the abortion ban taking effect Thursday conflicts with a federal law that ensures patients can receive emergency “stabilizing care” at hospitals.

Threat to patients cited

Winmill, an appointee of former Democratic President Bill Clinton, issued a preliminary injunction blocking Idaho from enforcing its ban to the extent it conflicts with federal law, citing the threat to patients.

“One cannot imagine the anxiety and fear she will experience if her doctors feel hobbled by an Idaho law that does not allow them to provide the medical care necessary to preserve her health and life,” Winmill wrote. “From that vantage point, the public interest clearly favors the issuance of a preliminary injunction.”

The Justice Department has said the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requires abortion care in emergency situations.

Winmill’s decision came after a late-night Tuesday ruling in Texas by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix holding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Biden went too far by issuing guidance holding the same federal law guaranteed abortion care.

Hendrix agreed with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, that the guidance issued in July “discards the requirement to consider the welfare of unborn children when determining how to stabilize a pregnant woman.”

Hendrix, an appointee of former Republican President Donald Trump, said the federal statute was silent as to what a doctor should do when there is a conflict between the health of the mother and the unborn child and that Texas’s law “fills that void.”

He issued an injunction barring the federal government from enforcing HHS’s guidance in Texas and against two groups of anti-abortion doctors who also challenged it, saying the Idaho case showed a risk the Biden administration might try to enforce it.

Hendrix declined, though, to issue a nationwide injunction as Paxton wanted, saying the “circumstances counsel in favor of a tailored, specific injunction.”

Appellate courts

Appeals are expected in both cases and would be heard by separate appeals courts, one based in San Francisco with a reputation for leaning liberal and another in New Orleans known for conservative rulings.

Greer Donley, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School and expert on abortion law, said should those appeals courts uphold this week’s dueling rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court may feel pressured to intervene and clarify the law.

“Without a federal right to abortion, this is the type of legal chaos that most people were predicting would be happening,” she said.

Shannon Selden, a lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton who represents several medical associations supporting the Justice Department’s Idaho case, said “there’s a huge cloud over physicians’ ability to provide stabilizing care for patients who need it.”

“The Justice Department is trying lift that cloud through its Idaho action, and the Texas court has made that cloud darker,” she said.

Source: Voice of America

Vietnamese PM affirms support for Vietnam-Laos judicial cooperation

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has affirmed his support for cooperation between Vietnamese and Ministries of Justice, saying Vietnam stands ready to further assist the neighbouring country in legal and judicial matters.

In a reception for Justice Minister Phayvy Siboualypha in Hanoi on August 22, the Vietnamese PM pledged to step up cooperation in personnel training and the exchange of experience in perfecting institutions and building a rule-of-law socialist State.

The leader spoke highly of outcomes of the talks between the two justice ministries, and expressed his belief that they will successfully organise the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the legal and judicial collaboration, and the fifth expanded judicial conference for Vietnamese and Lao provinces sharing the border line.

The bilateral legal and judicial cooperation over the past 40 years has significantly contributed to legal perfection in each country, towards legal reform of the two ministries as well as the two Parties, States and Governments, he went on.

The PM suggested the two sides coordinate closely to deal with common issues relating to the nationalities of their border residents, and continue to support each other at multilateral and regional legal forums.

For his part, Phayvy Siboualypha affirmed that Laos wishes to preserve and promote the great friendship and special solidarity between the two countries across spheres, for the sake of their peoples.

He thanked the Vietnamese Party, State and people for their great, timely and effective support to Laos, covering the legal and judicial sector, and promised to actively implement instructions and agreements reached by senior leaders of the two countries in this regard.

Source: Lao News Agency