Seasonal increase in virus attacks

Written by Geir Inge Jensen, CISO | 06 December 2021

Seasonal increase in virus attacks

As we approach the holiday season, we would like to highlight the importance of cybersecurity awareness to mitigate any virus attacks that your fleet may be subject to. Cybersecurity experts have observed an increase in ransomware attacks occurring on holidays, a pattern that has been seen year after year.

With IT employees of many businesses on break, organisations with limited capacity offer cybercriminals the perfect opportunity to carry out their attacks - and the maritime industry is no exception. With crew members out at sea away from their friends and family, the approaching seasonal holidays often lead to a higher chance of them opening holiday greeting cards and attachments that may be threatening.

As shown below, our Dualog virus scanners have detected a gradual increase in viruses as we move towards the end of the year:

VirusChart-2

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center 

From January to August of 2021, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported a 62% increase in ransomware incidents compared to the same time frame last year. Additionally, it is also important to note that the Emotet virus has made a return after almost a year long hiatus. We anticipate that the maritime industry will also be under threat of the Emotet virus and we expect to see increased waves of attacks in the upcoming months.

How Dualog Mail Defence works?

As virus attacks grow in frequency and become even more sophisticated, Dualog has opted to use a wider range of virus scanners to combat zero-day viruses. As shown in the cumulative chart below, there are certain viruses we block every day through Dualog Mail Defence that only get detected by a single scanner. Our developers are working on strengthening our virus detection even further and incorporating even more virus scanners in the next year.

211215VirusScannerGIF

What else can you do to keep your fleet cyber-secure?

Aside from maintaining a resilient infrastructure through a multi-layered email security system, building a crew-culture for cyber-awareness is vital for shipping in the digital age. For a quick refresher on common guidelines, we suggest checking out the following article - how to keep your crew cyber secure.