Trellix Threat Labs Report reveals evolving cyber landscape in Russia

Christiaan Beek, Lead Scientist and Senior Principal Engineer at Trellix

Trellix, the cybersecurity firm delivering the future of extended detection and response (XDR), released The Threat Report: Summer 2022, analysing cybersecurity trends. The report also features research from Trellix Threat Labs into connected healthcare and access control systems. It also includes analysis of email security trends and details the evolution of Russian cybercrime related to the conflict in Ukraine where new malware have yet to be observed.

What were the key findings of Trellix’s research?

Here are the key findings:

  • Increased Threats to Business Services: Companies providing IT, finance and other types of consulting and contract services were targeted by adversarial actors more often, demonstrating cybercriminals desire to disrupt multiple companies with one attack.

Business services accounted for 64% of total United States ransomware detections and was the second most targeted sector behind telecom across global ransomware detections, malware detections, and nation-state backed attacks in Q1 2022. 

  • Ransomware Evolution: Following the January arrests of members of the REvil ransomware gang, payouts to attackers declined. Trellix observed ransomware groups building lockers targeting virtualisation services with varied success. Leaked chats from the quarter’s second most active ransomware gang, Conti, which expressed allegiance to the Russian administration, seem to confirm the gov’t is directing cybercriminal enterprises.  
  • Email Security Trends: Telemetry analysis revealed phishing URLs and malicious document trends in email security. Most malicious emails detected contained a phishing URL used to steal credentials or lure victims to download malware. Trellix also identified emails with malicious documents and executables like infostealers and trojans attached. 

What were the executive’s thoughts on the report?

“With the merging of our digital and physical worlds, cyberattacks cause more chaos in our daily lives,” said Christiaan Beek, Lead Scientist and Senior Principal Engineer, Trellix.

“Adversaries know they are being watched closely; the absence of new tactics observed in the wild during the war in Ukraine tells us tools are being held back. Global threat actors have novel cyber artillery ready to deploy in case of escalation and firms need to remain vigilant.”  

The Threat Report: Summer 2022 uses proprietary data from Trellix’s network of over one billion sensors, open-source intelligence and Trellix Threat Labs investigations into prevalent threats like ransomware and nation-state activity. Telemetry related to detection of threats is used for the purposes of this report. A detection is when a file, URL, IP-address, suspicious email, network behavior or other indicator is reported via the Trellix XDR ecosystem.