​Small and medium companies take average 9 minutes to detect cyberattack: simulation data

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : July 6, 2021, 16:36 | Updated : July 6, 2021, 16:36

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SEOUL -- It took an average of nine minutes for small and medium-sized companies in South Korea to detect a common form of cyberattacks, government simulation data showed. Meanwhile, it took an average of three minutes for a large company to detect a cyberattack.

The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) is a malicious attack that deliberately causes data bottlenecks to a machine or network, making users inaccessible to services. DDoS is commonly used to forcefully shut down a service or a server. Sometimes hackers demand money for stopping DDoS attacks so that the victim can carry on providing its service before losing too many customers.

The Ministry of Science and ICT said in a statement on July 6 that the ministry teamed up with the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA), a state internet watchdog, to carry out a series of simulated cyberattacks involving some 230 enterprises in May and found that it took an average of 22 minutes for an SME to counteract against DDoS attacks by cutting off networks and securing data.

Along with DDoS, ransomware attacks also pose as one of the biggest threats to South Korean companies. The ministry said that 127 cases of ransomware attacks were reported in 2020, up 225 percent from 39 a year ago. When malicious codes infect a computer and execute a ransomware file disguised as an ordinary document file, all data files stored inside a network system are immediately encrypted and become useless. Normally, infected data cannot be decrypted without paying a hacker for a decryption key.

The science ministry stressed that it is important to follow security guidelines to prevent cyberattacks. "The number of cyberattacks using emails infected with malicious codes is increasing sharply at home and abroad," Hong Jin-bae, an official at the ministry's data security network policy team, was quoted as saying. The ministry and the watchdog will carry out simulated ransomware attacks in October 2021 to raise awareness of cyberattacks.
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