Posts Tagged :

atlas vpn

Web threats ‘increased by over 130%’ at the end of 2021

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
According to the data presented by Atlas VPN, web threats have increased by 133% in November and December of 2021, compared to September and October. In addition, JavaScript downloaders and crypto miners were the most active web threats at the end of 2021.
Web threats affect everyone and every device that is connected to the internet. Web threats enter users’ networks without their awareness and can be activated by opening a spam email or clicking on an executable file attachment.
Web threats reached 59,478 unique malicious URLs in September 2021, which resulted in 319,497 total threats. In October, the number kept slightly increasing to 60,440 unique malicious URLs, accumulating 361,184 hits.
November and December months combined accumulated 133% more web threats than September and October. The 84,470 unique malicious URLs in November turned into 833,924 total web threats. Even more, unique malicious URLs were seen in December at 93,999, which aggregated 749,956 threats.
Black Friday and Christmas sales in November and December influenced the rapid increase in web threats. Cybercriminals are particularly active during these seasons as they target e-commerce websites to steal customer personal information.
Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis said: “The landscape of web threats has changed dramatically in recent years. Smart devices and high-speed mobile networks have enabled an always-connected route of malware, fraud, and other compromises. The top concern that continues to pose new risks to security and privacy is the lack of caution when using the web.”
Most popular web threats
Cybercriminals can employ different types of web threats to target people’s devices.
JavaScript (JS) downloaders were observed to have 61,283 unique malicious URLs, which accumulated 726,372 total threats from October to December 2021.
From the total of 628,725 crypto miner threats, 59,550 were unique malicious URLs. Web miners that operate in internet browsers demand substantial CPU resources, causing computer use to be exceedingly slow.
Next up, 328,310 web threats were collected from 26,614 unique URLs with web skimmers. JavaScript redirectors amassed 115,497 web threats, of which 4,097 were unique malicious URLs. Finally, web scams accumulated 86,999 total threats, of which 15,130 were unique malicious URLs.

52% of women believe their gender is limiting their careers in the tech industry

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Today we can celebrate many great women who have helped shape the world of technology as we know it. Nevertheless, women are still largely underrepresented in the tech industry and face many obstacles when pursuing a career in the field.

According to data presented by Atlas VPN, 52% of women believe their gender is limiting their career in tech, and one-fifth of women are thinking about leaving their current position.

Women see a lack of promotion opportunities as the most significant barrier to their career advancement in the tech industry. Overall, 38% of women surveyed cited this as a career hinderer.

For 35% of women, a lack of confidence is one of the core impediments of career continuation in tech. Meanwhile, 33% find a lack of relatable senior role models and senior sponsorship a problem.

Other tech career barriers for women include difficulty balancing work and other responsibilities (31%), and sexism and gender bias (29%).

Despite increasing discussions about gender diversity in the technology industry, men still hold the vast majority of positions in tech, even in top companies.

As of June 2021, women made up about 47% of the US workforce. However, in top tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, the percentage of female employees ranged from 45% to 29%.

The number of women in technical positions at these companies was even lower. On average, women occupied less than one in four technical positions (25% to 23%) at the aforementioned companies.

Overall, all of the top five tech companies had more female employees in leadership roles than technical jobs. Still, the numbers are far from parity, and gender equality in the tech workforce has a long way to go.

Ruta Cizinauskaite, the cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, said: “The lack of women representation in tech is an issue that has been ignored for far too long. To begin with, we should acknowledge the barriers that prevent women from continuing to pursue careers in tech and work to remove them. Only by working together can we make a difference.”

Government and educational institutions most vulnerable to cyber attack in 2021

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, education and government organizations suffered most cyberattacks in 2021. At the same time, software vendors have experienced the largest growth in attacks compared to 2020. In addition, cybercriminals targeted corporate networks the most with Botnet attacks.
Education and research organizations were the most targeted industry in 2021, with an average of 1,605 weekly cyberattacks. Universities had to suspend classes due to suffered attacks, which impacted students, professors, and other staff members.
The government and military sector rank second with an average of 1,136 weekly cyberattacks. Government agencies hold tons of highly confidential data, which state-sponsored hackers can target to acquire desired information.
Communications organizations experienced an average of 1,079 attacks per week throughout 2021.
On the other hand, software vendors averaged just 536 cyberattacks. However, the average of attacks has significantly grown in the industry by 146% compared to 2020.
Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis said: “After shocking large-scale cyberattacks in 2021, businesses must proactively react to the growing risks. Many governments have already expanded their cybersecurity budgets to deal with cyber threats and so should organizations. One successful cyberattack could cause devastating consequences to a company.”
Corporate networks under botnet attacks
Cybercriminals choose different attack methods based on what they are trying to accomplish.
Botnet attacks accounted for 31% of threats against corporate networks in 2021. A botnet is a group of malware-infected internet-connected devices controlled by a single operator.
Info stealers were responsible for 21% of cyberattacks targeted at corporate networks. As the name implies, info stealers are Trojan malware designed to gather data from the system.
Cryptominers accounted for 19% of attacks launched at corporate networks. Cryptocurrency miners are malware that uses a significant amount of GPU and CPU resources, causing your computer to run slower than usual.

Americans lost a record $3.5bn to cybercrime in 2021 YTD

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
The wave of cybercrime is plowing throughout America with the biggest damages in history. Atlas VPN extracted data from publicly available government sources and found that US citizens already lost $3.49 billion to cybercrime in the first three quarters of 2021.
You don’t need to bring out the calculator – the damages come out to $12.78 million per day.
Edward Garb, a cybersecurity researcher at Atlas VPN explains the main driving forces behind the surge in cybercrime damages: “Cybercriminals are using the buzz around cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the metaverse to trick people into investing in bogus projects that disappear after raising a hefty sum of money.”

The data for the analysis is based on reports submitted through the official Federal Trade Commission websites –  IdentityTheft.gov and ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Citizens can get help by receiving personal identity theft recovery plans.

Regarding monetary damages – the FTC does not resolve the allegations, but it does disseminate the information to over 3,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States for further investigation.

The analysis reveals that cybercrime damages sky-rocketed by 82.91% in 2021 compared to last year. To be exact, people lost $1.58 billion more (yes, billion) this year than they did in the same period in 2020.

These losses are a result of 1.6 million unique fraud and identity theft reports submitted to the Federal Trade Commission websites mentioned previously.  This means that the FTC has to deal with around 5,869 complaints every single day.
Last year, the number of reports stood at 1.09 million after the first three quarters of the year, which is around a third less than in 2021. Back then, they had to go through 3,981 complaints daily.
To better understand the current cybercrime landscape, Atlas VPN analyzed which crimes caused the most trouble.
It already noted that investment-related crimes are on the rise due to countless projects in the crypto, NFT, and metaverse markets. This year, US citizens lost a staggering $956 million to these types of scams, representing a 277.87% growth YoY.