Ransomware Goes After Manufacturing
A Fortinet research report finds that manufacturers are increasingly under attack from ransomware as older vulnerabilities provide easy access.The scourge that is ransomware is spreading in the manufacturing sector, according new research from Fortinet. Over the course of seven months, from Oct. 1, 2015, to April 30, 2016, Fortinet recorded 8.63 million attempted attacks against 59 manufacturers around the world. The attacks were mostly aimed at the larger manufacturers, with 78 percent of them targeting manufacturing organizations with 1,000 or more employees. Also of note is that out of the 8.63 million attacks, 29 percent were from a Trojan called Nemucod, which carries ransomware as part of its malicious payload. Ransomware has been a growing concern in 2016, with the FBI warning in May of a significant uptick in activity. Among the high-profile ransomware incidents have been a series against hospital operations that quite literally have put lives at risk. There are a number of reasons why ransomware attacks on the manufacturing sector are successful, not the least of which is because they take advantage of known exploits. Fortinet's Q1 2016 Cyber Threat Assessment Program (CTAP) report, which examines the period from Jan. 1 to April 30, 2016, reported that the Necurs botnet is the most prevalent in manufacturing at 41.46 percent, followed by Conficker at 17.7 percent.
Conficker is notable because it's a worm that first attacked Microsoft systems back in 2008 and was patched by Microsoft in that same year. Yet despite the fact that Conficker was patched seven years ago, it's still a problem in manufacturing.