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Developing countries have highest industrial control system cyberattacks

Cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab has revealed that more than 40 per cent of all industrial control system (ICS) computers protected by its solutions were attacked by malicious software at least once during the first half of this year.

The countries hit the most were Vietnam, Algeria and Sri Lanka, while “the safest region for industrial machines” was Denmark.

These are among the main findings of the Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT report on the industrial threat landscape in H1 2018.

David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said it is “truly concerning to see the amount of ICS computers being targeted by malicious software. We advise that IT operators pay close attention to a system’s security, from the very beginning of integration ” at the point that elements of the system are being connected to the internet. It would be detrimental to neglect security solutions ” which could lead to dire repercussions for industrial organizations.”

Statistics collected by Kaspersky Lab in a report of the industrial threat landscape in 2018, show that 41.2 per cent of ICS computers were attacked at least once. This is up on the 37.75 per cent in the second half of 2017.

Top countries by the number of ICS computers attacked in 2018 were Vietnam, where 75.1 per cent of ICS computers were attacked, Algeria, with 71.6 per cent, and Morocco with 65 per cent. As for the least attacked industrial facilities, the top three countries were Denmark (14 per cent), Ireland (14.4) and Switzerland (15.9).

Developing economies account for highest numbers of ICS computers attacked, while developed regions have the lowest number of targeted ICS computers.

Emm explained that “the largest number of threats come from the internet, which over the years has become the main source of infection for ICS.” Some 27 per cent of threats are received from the web, while removable storage media is ranked second with 8.4 per cent. Mail clients occupy third place in terms of volume”representing 3.8 per cent of threats.