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Phishing is one of the most effective methods for attackers to find victims and to distribute ransomware.

With phishing now a vital medium for sending out ransomware, 77 percent of all detected ransomware globally was in four main sectors – business and professional services (28 percent), government (19 percent), health care (15 percent) and retail (15 percent), according to the 2017 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) from NTT Security.

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While technical attacks on the newest vulnerabilities tend gain notice, more attacks rely on less technical means.

Phishing attacks were responsible for nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of all malware delivered to organizations, with government (65 percent) and business & professional services (25 percent) as the industry sectors most likely to be attacked at a global level, according to the report.

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When it comes to attacks by country, the U.S. (41 percent), Netherlands (38 percent) and France (5 percent) were the top three sources of phishing attacks.

The report also found 25 passwords accounted for nearly 33 percent of all authentication attempts against NTT Security honeypots last year.

In addition, 76 percent of log on attempts included a password known to be implemented in the Mirai botnet – a botnet comprised of IoT devices, used to conduct, what were at the time, the largest ever distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

DDoS attacks represented less than 6 percent of attacks globally, but accounted for over 16 percent of all attacks from Asia and 23 percent of all attacks from Australia.

Finance was the most commonly attacked industry globally, subject to 14 percent of all attacks. The finance sector was the only sector to appear in the top three across all geographic regions analyzed, while manufacturing appeared in the top three in five of the six regions. Finance (14 percent), government (14 percent) and manufacturing (13 percent) were the top three most commonly attacked industry sectors.

Here are some other findings from the report:
• Top attack source countries: United States (63 percent), United Kingdom (4 percent), China (3 percent)
• 32 percent of organizations had a formal incident response plan up from an average of 23 percent in previous years
• 59 percent of all incident response engagements were in the top four industries – health care (17 percent), finance (16 percent), business and professional services (14 percent), and retail (12 percent)
• Over 60 percent of incident response engagements were related to phishing attacks
• Incident engagements related to ransomware were the most common incidents (22 percent)
• 56 percent of all incidents in finance organizations were related to malware
• 50 percent of all incidents in health care organizations were related to ransomware incidents

NTT Security summarized data from over 3.5 trillion logs and 6.2 billion attacks for the GTIR report.

Click here to register for the report.

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