Hackers mostly targeted Russian entertainment and telecom companies in 2020, experts say – TASS

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MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Hackers mostly targeted Russia’s entertainment, telecommunications and online retail companies this year, a cyber security provider, specializing in the companies’ IT infrastructure protection, StormWall told TASS.

StormWall’s analysis of DDoS attacks found that 40.76% of entertainment companies, 29.27% of telecommunications and 11.94% of online retail firms were hacked. Furthermore, hackers attacked companies specializing in construction (6.26%), finance (4.56%), education (3.61%) and services (2.58%) in 2020.

Thus, the share of DDoS attacks aimed at entertainment websites increased by 7% this year compared to 2019. “The gaming sector has traditionally been the most targeted, insofar as hackers have the opportunity to make a quick profit by blackmailing the entertainment resource’s owners,” according to the cyber security company.

The number of cyber attacks on the telecommunications industry rose 35% in 2020, year-on-year. “Such a significant growth in attacks on telecom companies occurred due to the notably increased competition on this market,” the experts said.

The shift to remote work contributed to a higher demand for steady Internet access, making the infrastructure more critical, of which rivals decided to take advantage, they explained.

The DDoS attacks on online retail have grown five-fold in 2020 compared to the previous year, thus the cyber attacks were mainly carried out as part of unfair competition and money extortion, experts said. The number of hacker attacks on banks and financial institutions grew 27%. Their key goal was to steal data, with the hackers’ biggest interest being users’ personal data and banking card information.

“Even the educational sector, on which there used to be almost no attacks, was targeted this year. Due to the challenging economic situation and increased competition in 2021, DDoS attacks could hit companies from those rarely affected industries, such as real estate, logistics and medicine,” Ramil Khantimirov, CEO and co-founder of StormWall, said.

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