Skip links

Cyber attacks: Italy 4th in the world and 1st in Europe for malware

Trend Micro presents the annual threat report: Italy continues to be among the countries most affected by cybercriminals in the world and records more attacks than the previous year. Cyber ​​attacks give no respite to Italy, which in 2021 is the fourth country in the world and the first in Europe most affected by malware. 

In 2020 Italy was seventh in the world ranking of the nations most affected by malware and in 2021 it advances by three positions, entering the world top 5 and gaining the continental record. The data emerges from “ Navigating New Frontiers ,” the Trend Micro Research report on the cyber threats that have hit over the past year ( AVAILABLE FULLY HERE ).

Globally, 2021 was marked by attacks on infrastructure and systems for remote work, with misconfigured cloud systems in the center of the crosshairs. The ransomware-as-a-service offerings have opened the market to attackers with limited technical knowledge, and they have also given rise to greater specializations, such as expert access brokers for example, which have become a fundamental piece of the criminal underground. Finally, 2021 was a record year for new vulnerabilities, although Trend Micro research  showed that a quarter of the vulnerabilities sold in the cybercriminal market were over three years old.

Infection chains and techniques

Due to its targeted nature, REvil used a variety of tools and malware depending what the situation dictated. Its operators appeared to operate on a high-level of knowledge on their victim’s environment, as evidenced by the level of customization in its attacks.

TS REvil figure 3BKJiec1

Specific attack flows

A more targeted attack flow (top) and a simple attack flow (bottom)

Infection chain followed in the attack on Quanta Computer

Infection chain followed in the attack on Kaseya

An infection chain based on a more recent campaign

Italy: what happened in 2021

  • Malware  – The total number of malware intercepted in Italy in 2021 was 62,371,693. In 2020 there were 22,640,386. Italy thus passes from the seventh to the fourth position of the most affected countries in the world and is first in Europe. On the podium, we find the United States, Japan and India
  • Macro Malware  – Italy is the most affected country in Europe, seventh in the world, with 6,861 attacks received
  • Ransomware  – Italy is the fourth most affected country in Europe, preceded by Germany, France and the UK. Worldwide it is twelfth
  • The  e-mail threats  that hit Italy in 2021 were 336,431,403
  • Visits to malicious sites totalled 18,683,844. The malicious sites  hosted in Italy and blocked were 269,383
  • Malicious apps  – The number of malicious apps downloaded in 2021 is 51,103
  • Online Banking –  3,478 unique online banking malware was intercepted

Worldwide, Trend Micro blocked a total of 94,289,585,240 threats in 2021, up 42% from the previous year. About 70 billion threats arrived via email.