Kaspersky ICS CERT Reports On Industries That Saw Most Attacks In 2H2023

Kaspersky’s ICS CERT (Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team) has unveiled an analysis of Operational Technology (OT) cybersecurity trends for the second half of 2023. With a yearly average of 38.6% of OT computers attacked in 2023, the report identifies Automation of buildings as the sector most exposed to cyberthreats (in the second half of 2023 malicious objects were blocked on 36.7% of OT computers in that industry), followed by Energy sector (34.9%), Engineering and ICS Integration (32.7%), Oil&Gas (31.2%), Manufacturing (27.2%).

The landscape of threats in the second half of 2023 remained diverse and multifaceted, with threats spreading via the internet continuing as the main source of cyber risks to OT computers, accounting for 18.1% of the attacks, followed by email clients at 4% and removable media at 1.9%.

Kaspersky security solutions blocked malware that belonged to 12,618 families on industrial automation systems. Malicious objects belonged to a number of categories, among the most widespread were malicious scripts and phishing pages, denylisted internet resources.

“Malicious objects that our solutions block can be grouped into 3 categories: those used for initial infection (such as dangerous web resources, malicious scripts, malicious documents), next-stage malware (including spyware, ransomware or miners) delivered to a victim in most cases via the internet or email, and self-propagating malware (worms and viruses). All of these can be extremely harmful to an organization. We investigated cases when even far-from-industrial malware, such as a banking trojan, nearly brought operations of a factory to a halt,” comments Evgeny Goncharov, Head of Kaspersky’s ICS CERT. “With this in mind industrial companies should continue fortifying their defenses by tailoring their cybersecurity strategies and staying informed about the ever-evolving threats.”