A new report from Kaspersky Lab found that in the first half of the year, the manufacturing industry was the most susceptible to cyberthreats – with the industrial control systems (ICS) computers of manufacturing companies accounting for almost one third of all attacks.
The Kaspersky Lab report, “Threat Landscape for Industrial Automation Systems in H1 2017,” also found that the peak of attackers’ activity was registered in March, after which the proportion of computers attacked gradually declined from April to June. Also during the first half of the year, Kaspersky Lab products blocked attack attempts on 37.6 percent of ICS computers from which the company received anonymized information, totaling several tens of thousands. This figure was almost unchanged compared to the previous period – it is 1.6 percent less than in the second half of 2016.
The majority of the cyberthreats were in manufacturing companies that produce various materials, equipment and goods. Other highly-affected industries include engineering, education, and food & beverage. ICS computers in energy companies accounted for almost 5 percent of all attacks.
Distribution of ICS computers attacked by industry, H1 2017
While the top three countries with attacked industrial computers – Vietnam (71%), Algeria (67.1%) and Morocco (65.4%) – remained the same, researchers detected an increase in the percentage of systems attacked in China (57.1%), which came in fifth, according to the data released by Kaspersky Lab.
Experts also discovered that the main source of threats was the internet; attempts to download malware or access known malicious or phishing web resources were blocked on 20.4 percent of ICS computers. The reason for the high statistics for this type of infection lies in the interfaces between corporate and industrial networks, availability of limited internet access from industrial networks, and connection of computers on industrial networks to the internet via mobile phone operators’ networks.
In total, Kaspersky Lab detected about 18,000 different modifications of malware on industrial automation systems in the first six months of 2017, belonging to more than 2,500 different families.