As hybrid and remote work continue to be the norm in Southeast Asia (SEA), Kaspersky has foiled here over 47 million Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks during the first six months of 2022.
The number of Bruteforce.Generic.RDP targeting remote workers in the region logged a total of 47,802,037 incidents from January to June this year. On average, Kaspersky solutions blocked 265,567 brute-force attacks in SEA daily.
In this period, Kaspersky secured most users from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand from this type of threat. These statistics are based on detection verdicts of Kaspersky products received from users who consented to provide statistical data.
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is Microsoft’s proprietary protocol, providing a user with a graphical interface to connect to another computer through a network. RDP is widely used by both system administrators and less-technical users to control servers and other PCs remotely.
A Bruteforce.Generic.RDP attack attempts to find a valid RDP login/password pair by systematically checking all possible passwords until the correct one is found.
A successful Bruteforce.Generic.RDP attack allows an attacker to gain remote access to the targeted host computer.
“Naturally, working from home or anywhere out of the office requires employees to log in to corporate resources remotely from their personal devices. One of the most common tools used for this purpose is RDP. Microsoft 365 is still the preferred software used by enterprises and SEA boasts of more than 680 million people, half of which are under 30 and are highly tech-savvy. So we see the use of this protocol to continue as remote working remains the norm and expect that malicious actors will continue their chase to compromise companies and organizations here through brute-force attacks,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
While RDP attacks are not conceptually new, Kaspersky notes that cybercriminals exploit the recent trends and the remote and hybrid environment to target enterprises. Brute-force attacks on RDP are not new, but never before have so many employees used these protocols. That is likely the reason why they continue to be the primary focus for attackers in SEA.
While corporate and perimeter security remains important, the recent mass transition to remote or hybrid work has shown all too clearly that even the best corporate security cannot compensate for a lack of user awareness. Especially with 60% of companies allowing employees to use their own devices for work, businesses must train their staff in cybersecurity best practices, so that they are aware of the risks and understand how to work securely with corporate resources.
This cyber hygiene training must also be accompanied by changes in IT administration. IT needs to provide additional support to employees, making sure updates are applied on time and issues with connecting remotely are fixed promptly.
For many businesses, remote work is not a temporary solution. Many have already announced that, even after the pandemic subsides, work-from-home options and a hybrid model will become a permanent fixture of the employee experience.