Record number of data leak sites detected in 2021
Technology has advanced so much that few can ignore it, which means that most people with internet access keep a lot of personal information digitally, and such a thing is very tempting to hackers. And the numbers of attacks concerning "leaks" of data or "data leak site" (DLS) reveal this very well.
They are brought by Atlas VPN, and collected by Group-IB and point to a huge problem as more DLS appear on the "dark web". And, what is significant, ransomware attacks are what bring success to hackers.
More specifically, in the second half of this year, 18 new websites were created on the "dark web" dedicated exclusively to leaked data from one of the companies. So it's valuable information for anyone who gets their hands on it.
In the first half there were 15, which means that in the whole of 2021, 33 such websites were created. In the past, it was 12 through the first and 13 over the second six months. Or, eight down in all. In 2019, through the second half there was only one such website and probably this says absolutely everything about the growth of hacking activities and ransomware attacks in its entirety.
When we look at companies alone, in the third quarter of this year, 713 were compromised, in the second 683 and the first 570. Last year was only the second half at that level. In the last quarter, 617 companies were compromised, in the third 501, and in the second and first the situation was significantly more modest - 176 and 41.
Therefore, it is necessary to fight organized crime in a more adequate way, which this really is. And that's why the level of success and threats has increased so much. What remains for companies is to strengthen security in every possible way, educate employees and, if done to a greater extent remotely, leave nothing to chance. This implies avoiding safety savings as it can ultimately turn out to be much more expensive than originally saved.
You store all your passwords in your internet browser? That may not be the smartest solution
The average computer and internet user, according to a NordPass study, has about 100 passwords. But mostly they use several dozen of them. They either simply forget because they don't use them regularly or store them somewhere on their computer.
The easiest place to store passwords that we use every day is certainly an internet browser. All internet browsers offer the option to store usernames and passwords so that we do not have to retype everything the next time they visit a site.
But computer security experts at AhnLab warn it's not the best place to keep a password. As they point out, how dangerous this practice can be is best demonstrated by the case of a person who worked from home during the pandemic but shared the computer with other members of the household. Thinking it was safe, in an Internet browser on that computer, she stored all the passwords related to the job. At the same time, the computer was infected with malware. That's how hackers obtained usernames, passwords, and information about the company's VPN.
Interestingly, the hackers only used this data three months later.
Therefore, AhnLab warns that, as convenient as it may be, sensitive data such as business passwords and usernames are not stored in internet browsers. Even if they have updated antiviruses because the malware in question duly bypassed this type of protection.
As an alternative, you can use "Password managers" or specialized programs for storing passwords or good old ones, paper and pencil. Just be careful where you keep that password paper, so it doesn't get into the wrong hands.