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Governments are becoming popular targets for cyberattack

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/GlebStock)

Targeted cyberattacks (opens in new tab), in which hackers carefully choose who they attack, and diligently prepare before actually executing their attack, are on the rise.

This is according to Positive Technologies’ new report, which claims that in the second quarter of the year, 59 per cent of all cyberattacks were targeted, as opposed to 47 per cent in the previous quarter. Hackers mostly target government organisations (opens in new tab), it was added.

Cryptojacking, a form of malware which hijacks a device and forces it to mine cryptocurrency for the attacker, is experiencing a full revival, with the report’s authors believing Bitcoin’s quick rise in value being one of the main catalysts.

Since the beginning of 2019, Bitcoin’s price has more than doubled.

Despite the rise in cryptojacking’s popularity, data theft (opens in new tab) is still the number one priority for criminals. Almost a third (29 per cent) of all attacks targeted personal data, and attacks on individuals often have account credentials and payment information as their goal.

Bringing in money was the main motive behind 30 per cent of attacks on companies, and 42 per cent of attacks on individuals.

"Companies often store large databases with personal data and credentials of their clients, and criminals are also interested in usernames and passwords of the employees of target companies. As for individual users, the public has a bad track record when it comes to securing their accounts. They use weak passwords or re-use passwords across sites, enter passwords for websites without checking their authenticity, and also give out information that could help an attacker to guess their password. This is why credentials and payment information are such a high target,” commented Leigh-Anne Galloway, Cyber Security Resilience Lead at Positive Technologies.

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.