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Over a third of A/NZ organisations targeted by APTs in 2015: FireEye

Over a third of A/NZ organisations targeted by APTs in 2015: FireEye

Local attacks 15 per cent more common than global average

FireEye's Advanced Threat Response Centre in North Sydney

FireEye's Advanced Threat Response Centre in North Sydney

Australian and New Zealand companies are increasingly falling victim to advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks with 35 per cent of local organisations exposed during the first half of 2015.

Security firm, FireEye, has for the first time, released figures directly relating to the A/NZ market in its 2015 Advanced Threat Report.

It stated that the amount of APT attacks in A/NZ were 15 per cent higher than the global average.

According to the vendor, the previous exposure rate released in its South-East Asia Threat Landscape Report in March was 27 per cent. The new figures indicate a 30 per cent increase in this sort of threat since then.

Sectors that most likely to be targeted with APTs are the Federal Government, telecommunications, high-tech and financial industries.

FireEye systems engineer director A/NZ, Richard Costanzo, explained the vendor had witnessed a number of attacks targeting government officials involved in trade negotiations like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) coming out of China and that certain types of attacks are consistently monitored coming out of the same regions.

“Most of the financial attacks we have seen typically come out of Russia and Eastern Europe. When you are talking about the intellectual property attacks, you are typically talking about China,” he said.

Ransomware continues to be a problem for organisations in the region, with variants of the Cryptowall family still among the top 10 most common types of malware that infect organisations in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ).

This particular threat is particularly prevalent in APJ as Ransomware does not feature in any top 10 lists from other regions around the globe.

Costanzo explained that one of the reasons Ransomware was so persistent in the region was the propensity of local individuals and businesses to pay cyber-criminals to retrieve their encrypted files.

“When you’re a financial-based threat actor and you have a population that has a tendency to pay, you're going to run your attack even more. Unfortunately this leads to more and more persistent attacks,” he said.

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Tags APTcyber espionageFireEyeransomwarecybercrime

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