Cyber ​​attacks: Cities and municipalities increasingly targeted

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Attacks on communities, healthcare and education have doubled since August 2022. This is reported by the Barracuda Ransomware Report.

Barracuda has published the results of its fifth annual ransomware report. As a basis for the report, the cloud security specialist identified and analyzed 175 publicly reported attacks from the last 12 months. A disturbing finding from the report is that successful ransomware attacks across the three societal sectors of communities, education and healthcare have more than quadrupled since 2021.

Attacks on finance declining

For example, between August 2022 and July 2023, attacks on cities and towns rose from 12 percent to 21 percent, attacks on healthcare from 12 percent to 18 percent, attacks on education from 15 percent to 18 percent, and attacks on infrastructure from 8 percent 10 percent. In comparison, attacks on finance fell from 6 percent to 1 percent, suggesting that these organizations are becoming more secure.

Although successful ransomware attacks on infrastructure-related areas were fewer than in the three areas mentioned above, there is still no reason to sound the all-clear: the number of attacks was more than twice as high as in 2022.

Most common type of attack: Business Email Compromise

Barracuda's security analysts specifically observed six main attack types, led by BEC/Business Email Compromise at 36,4 percent, followed by ransomware at 27,3 percent.

  • Business Email Compromise/BEC
  • Ransomware
  • Malware infection
  • Insider threat
  • Identity theft
  • Data leaks

Cyber ​​criminals are increasingly using generative AI for phishing attacks

Another key finding is the increased use of generative AI to create compellingly designed phishing emails. This makes it easier to eliminate spelling and grammatical errors in phishing emails. While training has so far been aimed at recognizing grammatical and spelling mistakes in emails, these features will probably provide fewer and fewer clues for phishing.

"The number of successful ransomware attacks continues to rise and shows no signs of slowing down," said Fleming Shi, CTO at Barracuda. “Recent advances in generative AI will further help criminals increase the rate of attacks with more effective cyber weapons. Therefore, it is imperative for organizations to have tools to detect and prevent attacks, but also to be more resilient and prepared to recover from an attack.”

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Via Barracuda Networks

Striving to make the world a safer place, Barracuda believes that every business should have access to cloud-enabled, enterprise-wide security solutions that are easy to purchase, implement and use. Barracuda protects email, networks, data and applications with innovative solutions that grow and adapt as the customer journey progresses. More than 150.000 companies worldwide trust Barracuda to help them focus on growing their business. For more information, visit

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