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About 52% of cyber threats occurring in 2021 were specifically designed to target removable media including CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, floppy disks and USB drives, according to the Honeywell Industrial Cybersecurity USB Threat Report released on Friday 2022 .
That number was 32% the previous year and 19% the year before, indicating that threats targeting removable media have reached dangerously high levels, Honeywell said.
“The new report suggests that adversaries are intentionally using removable media as an initial attack vector to establish a remote connection, exfiltrate data, and establish command and control,” said Jeff Zindel, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Connected Enterprise Cybersecurity.
According to a study by Honeywell, hackers are using removable USB media to bypass network protections and bypass the air gaps — the network security measures — that many of these devices depend on to protect them.
Along with USB attacks, the research also found that “Trojan horses” remained a major concern due to their potential to cause serious disruption to industrial infrastructure, accounting for 76% of detected malware.
The study was based on cyber threat data collected from hundreds of industrial facilities worldwide, including those in India, during the calendar year 2021.