By Gregory Hale
One half of all cyberattacks that caused physical consequences last year that impacted manufacturing were the result of ransomware, a new report said. In addition, GPS spoofing and supply chain incidents are growing attack scenarios in the Operational Technology (OT) cyber threat environment.

Those are just some of the results of the 2024 Threat Report, a collaboration between Waterfall Security Solutions and ICS STRIVE, the OT incident threat database and sister publication of The report documents cyberattacks with physical consequences in OT networks, consequences such as production outages, equipment damage, environmental disasters and injuries or casualties. To be included in the report, the incidents must be deliberate attacks, with physical consequences, in the public record, in covered industries: Building automation, transportation, manufacturing, heavy industry and critical industrial infrastructures.

In the last year, there were 68 attacks with physical consequences found in 2023 affecting over 500 physical sites, a 19 percent hike over the 57 attacks reported in the previous year.

In addition, in 2023, there was a significant number of cyberattacks with physical consequences detailed in regulatory filings because of new financial industry rules mandating such disclosures. To that end, costs for cyberattacks on various companies ranged from $27 million for Johnson Controls, $49 million for Clorox and up to $450 million for MKS Instruments.

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Some other key findings in the report include:

  • In the period 2019-2023, these attacks are almost doubling annually – we see an average compound annual growth rate of over 90 percent per year
  • Discrete manufacturing sector was the hardest hit, followed by transportation and process manufacturing
  • In roughly one quarter of all attacks since 2010, where public reports included enough detail, threat actors impaired or manipulated OT systems directly
  • In the remaining attacks, physical consequences were an indirect result of compromising IT systems or other kinds of systems

Other developments for the year include, among others, attack complexity is increasing, including for example the emergence of serious GPS spoofing attacks and an increasing number of supply chain attacks with physical consequences.

Click here to find out more from this important industry report.


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