Based on experts’ recent findings, it is believed that the manufacturing sector has been one of the many industries being targeted by cyberattacks. These findings might be because of the industry’s extensive use of software tools with advanced technologies, including their adoption to the evolving world of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
An example of this is how Panasonic, a Japanese tech manufacturing firm, has recently been hit by a data breach performed by anonymous threat actors that accessed their servers and stole confidential data of their clients and employees.
Because of increased automated operation processes relating to being software-centric of the manufacturing sector, they might have piqued the interest of threat actors and exposed them to cyberattacks.
Several cybercrime groups, including Gamaredon, IronHusky, Lazarus APT, and DEV-0343, have been reported to target organisations within the manufacturing sector for the past two months. Most of these attackers are also observed to be located in Iran.
The observed cyberattacks targeting the manufacturing sector are found across Western Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Africa, and North America.
During cyberattacks, the most used ransomware by the threat actors includes Conti, Ranzy Locker, Lockean, BotenaGo, and MysterySnail. Additionally, their attack vectors include brute-force access, phishing attacks, and unauthorised access, aside from other vectors like the vulnerability exploitation they find in software tools.
Threat actors attacking the flaws and vulnerabilities they find within manufacturing-related software is one of the most exploited attack vectors that experts have discovered. As they exploit these software vulnerabilities, it allows them to easily intrude and access the servers and networks of their targeted victims.
An advanced persistent threat (APT) group was recently discovered to have attacked the products of software solutions company FatPipe after finding a vulnerability within its virtual private network (VPN). Another incident also involved a semiconductor manufacturing firm from Taiwan, MediaTek, as threat actors exploited their vulnerabilities by spying on smartphones.
Security experts see the manufacturing sector being targeted by cyberattacks as an indicator that threat actors have been interested in their heightened use of software-based solutions and IoT devices. For this reason, it is highly advised for the manufacturing sector to invest and improve in their security efforts to minimise the chances of being targeted by all malicious cyber attackers.