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These were the most common forms of cyberattack last year

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene)

New research from BlackBerry Limited shows hackers use different strategies and attack types, depending on the industry they're targeting.

For example, criminals targeting the technology and software industry are most concerned with stealing intellectual property. To that end, a quarter of attacks (26 percent) were ransomware-based.

Healthcare organisations also encountered a high proportion of ransomware, as a result of the valuable data they hold.

When attacking service providers, on the other hand, hackers are prone to using end customers to increase malicious distribution. Remote management tools like Go2Assist or NinjaRMM are often harnessed by attackers.

The report also found hackers are employing new technologies. APT group OceanLotus, for example, deployed new backdoors, targeting multinational automotive manufacturers.

“New techniques to obscure malicious payloads and distribute attacks across multiple organisations paid off for threat actors in 2019,” said Eric Cornelius, Chief Technology Officer at BlackBerry Cylance.

“With the increasing ease of access to attack toolkits combined with the explosion of endpoints connected to organisations’ networks, the global threat landscape for emerging threats will only continue to escalate in 2020.”