2021: Most significant cyber attacks on government agencies

cyber attacks

The cybercriminal arena is bound with technologies to defraud individuals and companies alike. The pandemic years saw a stellar increase in attacks both in number and in variety. While many of them fail because of critical technical bulwarks like DMARC, some get through and make a big splash in the cybersecurity market.

Here are some of the biggest cybersecurity compromise incidents in 2021:

May 2021. Hackers got access to Fujitsu’s servers on May 24th and stole files belonging to several Japanese government agencies.

Four government agencies have been affected so far. 

May 2021. Cybersecurity researchers have identified a North Korean hacker organization as the perpetrator of a cyber espionage campaign that used phishing to target high-profile South Korean government officials.

May 2021. On May 14, The Irish Health Service Executive said there was a “significant ransomware attack” on its IT systems. It was followed by a major cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline in the U.S. that crippled gas delivery systems in Southeastern states. (Source)

May 2021. A huge DDoS attack knocked off the Belgium government’s internet service provider, affecting more than 200 organizations and forcing the cancellation of multiple Parliamentary proceedings.

April 2021. Two state-sponsored hacker groups, one of which works for the Chinese government, exploited weaknesses in a VPN service to target businesses across the US and Europe focusing on defense contractors in the US.

March 2021. As part of a cyber espionage campaign, Iranian hackers targeted government institutions, academics, and tourism in Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

March 2021. Data was stolen from approximately 30,000 organizations by Chinese government hackers who targeted Microsoft’s workplace email software.

February 2021. Russian hackers gained access to a Ukrainian government file-sharing system and sought to spread harmful documents that would infect computers that downloaded them.

February 2021. Hackers having links to the Vietnamese government used malware to penetrate individuals’ devices, spy on their activities, and exfiltrate data during a three-year cyber espionage campaign against human rights campaigners in the country.

January 2021. Ransomware assaults connected to the Chinese government targeted five major casino and gambling countries, demanding more than $100 million in ransom.

Cybercriminals are always looking to exploit technology to their benefit. Hackers mostly exploit the human layer and play on 8 aspects of psychology that are urgency, fear, greed, obedience, apathy, hubris, curiosity, and ignorance; using emails as a primary infection vector. DMARC and other related email authentication tools can help companies and individuals cover their email cybersecurity risks better. Find out how EmailAuth, a premier DMARC implementation, and management tool can help you better handle your email server domain security and protect yourself from cyberattacks.

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