2021 has been dominated by Russian hackers, says Microsoft

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has released its Microsoft Digital Defense Report for 2021.
  • It reveals statistics and details about the activities of Russia, North Korea, China, and more.
  • One of the report's key reveals was that Russia was responsible for 58% of all 2021 cyberattacks Microsoft monitored.

A lot of countries have been up to cybercrime over the course of 2021. Those entities include North Korea, China, and Iran, as well as South Korea, Vietnam, and Turkey. But none were able to top Russia, which led the pack by being responsible for 58% of all the year's cyberattack activity Microsoft monitored up to October 2021.

One of Russia's most noteworthy attacks was the SolarWinds fiasco which ate up a large chunk of the early 2021 news cycle. The attack targeted everything from U.S. companies to the U.S. government itself, gaining Russian hackers access to large amounts of private data.

Other countries had big moments as well, though. Chinese hackers, dubbed by Microsoft as Hafnium, made their mark on headlines after infiltrating MS Exchange servers and pilfering data from numerous organizations, once again causing the U.S. government to have to issue guidance as it became part of the cyber heist. Later reports indicated that China's activities may have been part of a grander effort to fuel the intelligence of its AI projects.

Msft Nation State Actors

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft's report covers a wide variety of cyberattack-related topics, from the codenames the company uses for the attackers it monitors, to which industries were impacted most. It also delivers scoops on the particular types of activities that have been going on, with a portion of the report highlighting the growth in the ransomware sector.

To give an idea of how bad a problem ransomware has become, the U.S. government recently committed to sanctions on certain facets of cryptocurrency in an effort to derail present and future ransomware efforts.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.