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A growing number of hackers are fighting back after their attacks are mitigated

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Rabbit_Photo)

When an organization is under attack, there are a number of tactics and tools that can be deployed in response. However, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly adept at identifying and countering remediation efforts, a practice known as counter incident response.

According to a new report from VMware, the majority of businesses (63 percent) have been subjected to counter incident response (IR) since the start of the pandemic. 

Criminals deployed multiple techniques to counteract defense mechanisms, including security tooling disablement (the most popular technique) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Ever since the start of the pandemic, the report further claims, cyberattacks have grown more sophisticated and devastating. Double extortion ransomware (opens in new tab) attacks, in which criminals threaten to release encrypted data online if ransom demands are note met, was the most popular new technique last year.

All of this resulted in a mindset change among security teams; it's no longer a matter of if an attack is launched, but when. Many adopted a proactive mindset, with 81 percent having a threat hunting program in place.

“Cybersecurity is adapting to changing conditions,” said Rick McElroy, Principal Cybersecurity Strategist at VMware Security Business Unit. “The old school mentality is gone. Security teams realize they must change their architectures, adopt a cloud (opens in new tab)-first mindset, and work together to meet today’s challenges. The path they’re charting is a good one.”

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.