Ranked: The Most Significant Cyber Attacks from 2006-2020, by Country
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The Most Significant Cyber Attacks from 2006-2020, by Country

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Significant Cyber Attacks

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The Briefing

  • From 2006 to 2020, the U.S. experienced 156 significant cyber attacks—more than the UK, India, and Germany combined
  • A “significant” cyber attack refers to a hack into a country’s government agency, a defense or high-tech company, or a crime with losses of more than $1M

Significant Cyber Attacks from 2006-2020, by Country

Committing a cyber crime can have serious consequences. In the U.S., a cyber criminal can receive up to 20 years in prison for hacking into a government institution if it compromises national security.

Yet, despite the consequences, cyber criminals continue to wreak havoc across the globe. But some countries seem to be targeted more than others.

Using data from Specops Software, this graphic looks at the countries that have experienced the most significant cyber attacks over the last two decades.

RankCountry / RegionNumber of Significant Cyber Attacks (2006-2020)
1🇺🇸 United States156
2🇬🇧 United Kingdom47
3🇮🇳 India23
4🇩🇪 Germany21
5🇰🇷 South Korea18
6🇦🇺 Australia16
7🇺🇦 Ukraine16
8🇨🇳 China15
9🇮🇷 Iran15
10🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia15
11🇯🇵 Japan13
12🇨🇦 Canada12
13🇫🇷 France11
14🇮🇱 Israel11
15🇵🇰 Pakistan9
16🇷🇺 Russia8
17🇭🇰 Hong Kong7
18🇻🇳 Vietnam6
19🇹🇷 Turkey6
20🇰🇵 North Korea5

The U.S. comes in first place, with 156 recorded cyber attacks. That’s an average of 11 significant attacks per year, which is more than Russia’s had in 14 years.

What are the Most Common Types?

While there are many different types of cyber attacks, Specops highlights the four most commonly used for significant cyber crimes:

  • Structured Query Language (SQL) Injection Attack
    SQL is the code used to communicate with a database. In an SQL injection attack, the hacker writes vindictive SQL code and inserts it into a victim’s database, in order to access private information.
  • A man-in-the-middle (MitM)
    This form of attack happens when a cyber criminal hacks into a communication channel between two people, and eavesdrops on their online exchanges.
  • Phishing Attack
    When a cyber criminal poses as a legitimate institution and emails a victim to gain personal details like login credentials, home address, credit card information.
  • Denial of Service Attack (DoS)
    This involves flooding a victim’s system with traffic, to the point where their network is inaccessible. The hacker doesn’t gain any valuable information from this style of attack.

»Like this? Here’s another article you might enjoy: The 15 Biggest Data Breaches in the Last 15 Years

Where does this data come from?

Source: Specops Software
Details: Report is based on each entry made by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in their record of significant cyber-attacks between May 2006 and June 2020.

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Top 20 Countries With the Most Ultra-Wealthy Individuals

Developing countries are creating wealth like never before, but the majority of the world’s ultra-wealthy people still live in the United States.

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The Briefing

  • According to Credit Suisse, there are now 218,200 people globally with assets over $50 million.
  • The majority (53%) of the world’s ultra-wealthy people live in the U.S.

Top 20 Countries With the Most Ultra-Wealthy Individuals

New data from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report shows that there was an “explosion of wealth” last year.

The global population of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) grew by 46,000 to a record of 218,200. The report notes that UHNWIs benefited from a surge in the value of financial assets last year.

These increases are more than double the increases recorded in any other year this century. – Global Wealth Report 2022

The majority of ultra-wealthy individuals already reside in the United States, but 2021 saw a staggering increase of 30,470 people bring added to this exclusive ultra-wealthy category in the country.

Country/regionNet Worth of $50–$100MNet Worth of $100M–$500MNet Worth of $500M+
🇺🇸 United States103,66935,7401,726
🇨🇳 China20,01311,4111,282
🇩🇪 Germany6,0523,354318
🇨🇦 Canada3,4721,912123
🇮🇳 India3,0241,750210
🇯🇵 Japan3,3731,41188
🇫🇷 France3,2371,31485
🇦🇺 Australia2,9471,576109
🇬🇧 United Kingdom2,7871,278110
🇮🇹 Italy2,5741,253103
🇰🇷 South Korea2,4501,319117
🇷🇺 Russia2,1341,488253
🇨🇭 Switzerland2,11598792
🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR1,7901,139127
🇸🇪 Sweden1,8661,01976
🇹🇼 Taiwan1,87491293
🇪🇸 Spain1,50966651
🇧🇷 Brazil1,23874995
🇸🇬 Singapore97457073
🇳🇱 Netherlands1,10047128

China and India will likely see their ultra-wealthy populations increase dramatically, but still have a long way to go before catching up to the United States.

The biggest increases, aside from the U.S., were China (5,200), Germany (1,750), Canada (1,610), and Australia (1,350).

Decreases in UHNWI populations were more rare, but did occur in a few cases. United Kingdom (-1,130), Turkey (-330), and Hong Kong SAR (-130) saw the biggest drops.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2022

Data note: All amounts in USD

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Ranked: The Top Cyberattacks Against Businesses

Recent research provides insight into the top cyberattacks that businesses faced in 2021. See the results in this infographic.

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Ranked: The Top Cyberattacks Against Businesses

Cyberattacks hit a record high in 2021, continuing the momentum that had developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. One reason for this increase is the shift to remote work, which has opened up new vulnerabilities. Home networks are typically less secure, and the rapid rise in the use of online services means security is falling behind.

In this graphic sponsored by Global X ETFs, we’ve visualized survey results showing the 10 most successful types of cyberattacks in 2021.

The Results

These results are from a 2021 whitepaper by Osterman Research, a market research firm focused on cybersecurity. They surveyed 130 cybersecurity professionals from mid and large-sized organizations to see which types of attacks were the most prominent.

Type of AttackPercentage of respondents (%)
Business email attack was successful in tricking a lower-level employee53%
Phishing message resulted in a malware infection49%
Phishing message resulted in an account being compromised47%
Domain name was spoofed to perpetrate phishing campaigns38%
Ransomware was detected before it could be activated34%
Business email attack was successful in tricking a senior executive28%
Domain name impersonation resulted in a third-party being compromised16%
Phishing message resulted in a ransomware infection14%
A ransomware attack was successfully launched10%
A ransomware attack rendered internal IT systems non-operational10%

Source: Osterman Research (2021)

The report notes that these figures may be understated because organizations are likely to downplay their security incidents. Organizations may also lack the capability to detect all types of cyberattacks.

The Impact of Phishing Attacks

Phishing refers to an attack where the perpetrator pretends to be a trusted entity. These attacks can be carried out over email, text message (SMS), and even social media apps. The goal is often to trick the victim into opening a malicious link.

According to the whitepaper, opening malicious links can result in credential theft or ransomware infections. Credential theft is when attackers gain access to internal systems. This is incredibly dangerous, as it allows attackers to commit fraud, impersonate company officials, and steal data.

A powerful tool for preventing credential theft is multi-factor authentication (MFA). This method requires users to provide multiple verification factors to access a resource (instead of a single password).

The Threat of Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of cyberattack that involves blackmail, often for financial gain. For ransomware to be successfully planted, attackers must first gain access to a company’s networks.

Access can be gained through phishing, as discussed above, or alternate means such as compromised software updates. One such attack impacted over 57,000 Asus laptop owners in Russia after hackers created a malicious update tool on an official Asus server.

Cybercriminals have become increasingly ruthless in how ransomware attacks are executed.
– Osterman Research

Researchers have warned that ransomware attacks are becoming more dangerous and sophisticated. In addition to locking organizations out from core systems, hackers are also stealing data to increase their leverage. If a ransom is not paid, the stolen data may be published or even sold to the highest bidder.

Under Siege

The rising frequency and sophistication of cybercriminal activity is a major threat to the world.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Risks Report, ransomware attacks have increased by 435% since 2020. Furthermore, there is an estimated shortage of 3 million cybersecurity professionals worldwide.

To catch up, businesses and governments are expected to increase their spending on cybersecurity over the next several years.

The Global X Cybersecurity ETF is a passively managed solution that can be used to gain exposure to the rising adoption of cybersecurity technologies. Click the link to learn more.

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