Cyber threats against ICS systems most prominent
At GITEX Technology Week 2021, which opened Sunday October 17 at the World Trade Center in Dubai, Kaspersky research highlights that malware is widespread across the Middle East. Accounting for 161 million of attacks and growing by 17% when compared to the last year figure – 138 million. “Kuwait has seen a large spike in malware attacks increasing by 64%,” said Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky. Cyber threats against ICS systems stand out as the most prominent.
The UAE experienced a 4% increase in attacks against ICS computers during the first half of 2021 when compared to the same period last year. This stands higher than the global average which only increased by 1.2% for the same period. Industrial control system (ICS) security oversees the safeguarding and protection of control systems used for monitoring industrial processes. Such systems are critical in keeping essential infrastructure functioning and they are increasingly under attack. The potential for critical system breakdown, production accidents, and even city-wide or national impact is increasing. In Kaspersky’s “Threat Landscape for Industrial Automation Systems Report”, spyware, which is mostly deployed to steal money and information, are up by 0.6 percentage points in UAE. Simultaneously, malicious scripts grew by 2.7 percentage points. Threat actors use such scripts on various websites hosting pirated content to redirect users to sites that distribute spyware or malware designed to mine cryptocurrency without the user’s knowledge. “The global trajectory is to move to digital services across the board. This also includes Industrial Control systems which today are increasingly connected. For many, this has translated in increased convenience and efficiency, but it also exposes them to cyberattacks. A worst-case scenario can result in total disruption of industrial processes.
Depending on the criticality of an industrial object, the results can mean a loss of…