Cyberattacks against IT companies and retailers have increased two-fold over the past year, according to a new report from Positive Technologies.
The security firm found the number of cyberattacks in Q4 2019 increased by 12 percent over the previous quarter, and payment card information made up almost a third (32 percent) of all stolen information, representing a quarterly rise of 25 percent.
The report argues the rise can be attributed to the peak Christmas shopping season, when an increased number of MageCart attacks were identified.
Meanwhile, the number of targeted attacks rose by two percent over the previous quarter, and now make up 67 percent of all attacks.
Governments are also facing an increase in APT attacks. The report refers to attacks on Ukraine, Mongolia, South Korea and Russia by various cybercriminal syndicates.
These malicious groups also targeted the manufacturing, healthcare, finance and education sectors.
"Companies have started paying more attention to making backups in the case of an attack. Attackers have become aware of this and now threaten their victims with further consequences by leaking their personal data," said analyst Yana Avezova.
"We found several incidents where companies refused to pay the ransom, and the attackers followed through on their threat."