2022 Cybersecurity Retrospective

Raise a glass, CHEERS! 2022 has ended so we wanted to look back at the most notable cyber-related incidents and give a preview for this year ahead

Image by Ingrid from Pixabay  

If you Blinked, you Missed it

It’s natural to look back on the year and reflect on both the challenges and the accomplishments.  2023 brings new opportunities for growth and change. As we enter the new year, it’s a chance to set goals and make resolutions and work towards making our lives and our world better. As we say goodbye to 2022 and embrace 2023, let’s remember to be grateful for the blessings of the past year and to look forward to the possibilities of the new one. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2023!  

So much has happened in the cyber-world in the last year, so I wanted to spend some time quickly going over the most notable cyber-stories, and in our next blog, we will give our thoughts on what is to come in 2023 (See the link to our next blog at the bottom of this page).

Looking Back at 2022…

I like to keep our blogs hype-free, but 2022 was truly unprecedented. From a complete government shutdown to the continued assault of the biggest names in technology, IT professionals around the world had a year to forget. However, I think it is important to reflect on the following events because the lessons learned are paramount as the cybersecurity industry is constantly changing and finding new ways to adapt. Here we go, the top 3 biggest cyber-attacks of 2022 (In my opinion):

The War in Ukraine

Topping our list is the ongoing war in Ukraine. I am sure while watching the news you see footage of the boots-on-the-ground war in Ukraine, but the far less analyzed angle of the war is taking place online. Check out our coverage of the United States’ response to the cyber element of the war by clicking here. In Ukraine, there was a scramble to find personnel to populate their online army. With a flood of incoming attacks originating from computers in Russia, Ukraine was forced to form a volunteer ‘IT Army’ to create a website listing Russian targets accompanied with their IP addresses. This has led to a wave of attacks aimed back at Russia causing massive service outages. The use of cyber-warfare is not surprising but given the scale of the war and how cyber-attacks have been leveraged, I think it is fair to say this is the most notorious cyber-related event of the year. That leads us to what I believe is the second most notable hack of the year. While not on the scale of the Ukraine-Russia war, the fallout was truly a first of its kind.

Costa Rica’s Ransomware Attack

Russia again, really?! From what has been reported, the Russia-linked cyber gang known as Conti was able to infiltrate the entire Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica with Ransomware, which successfully shut down their import/export business. This forced Costa Rica to declare a national emergency, the first time a nation has ever declared a national emergency in response to a cyber-attack.  

Attacks on Big Tech Continue

New groups of hackers pop up every year with the intent of stealing intellectual property from the biggest names in technology. In 2022 it was a group known as Lapsus$. Lapsus$ went after companies such as Nvidia, Ubisoft, Samsung, and Microsoft. The group is known for extorting company employees with phishing emails and notably avoided using encrypting software like ransomware. In most cases, Lapsus$ will extort users into giving them data and then posting it online. However, the group is unlike previous groups because it is not clear if they are financially motivated, but are rather hacking for the fun of it, this type of group is commonly referred to as hacktivists. The group is reported to be a loose collection of hackers from around the world. However, several arrests have been made and they have since gone quiet. If history is to repeat itself, I would expect Lapsus$ to make a comeback, but it’s possible it will be under a new name. While they have slowed their activity, I wanted to mention them to show how new hacking groups will come and go with different goals and methods, each dealing blows to the companies they attack.

On to the Next One…

2022 was certainly a year to remember, not because anything particularly great happened from a cybersecurity perspective. Rather, it was a year of growth for the industry, and we hope IT professionals will take the lessons they learned into the new year as we expect the threat landscape to only become more complex. Read our next blog for a summary of what QoS expects to see in 2023.

For more information speak with a QoS consultant today, sales@qosconsultingsolutions.com, or reach out through our contact form on our website, www.qosconsultingsolutions.com.