Cyber Threats Snapshot Report: New Attack Trends in the First Quarter of 2021

04 May 2021

Analysis data on the cyber threats detected by Leonardo's Security Operation Center in the first quarter of 2021, have now been published. Leonardo’s Cyber Threats Snapshot highlights some of the most common features of attacks and attack attempts that took place between January and March, including: preferred targets for cyber attacks, the most frequently used malware, the levers exploited by malspam and phishing campaigns.

The preferred targets of the threat actors (cybercriminals)

As stated in the previous report
, infrastructures enabling remote work were still the target of cyberattacks and it is probable that this trend will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. The continuation of the widespread use of smart remote working, should in fact, keep the focus of cyber threat actors high with regard to the exploitation of vulnerabilities of enterprise technologies.

Most widely used types of malware in the last quarter

has proven to be the most widely used type of malware which, by exploiting system vulnerabilities or human errors, has the ability to spread rapidly to individual attacked systems and, often, to corporate networks in order to encrypt data.

The spread of ransomware is likely to continue in the near future, in consideration of the considerable profits it guarantees coming both from the ransom requested after the compromise of the attacked systems, and from the subsequent sale of the exfiltrated data.

Levers exploited by malspam and phishing campaigns

Malspam and phishing campaigns
are constantly increasing, also because they have a high success rate, thanks to the fact that they exploit the weakest link in IT security, the human factor. In most cases, to ensure a greater probability of success, these campaigns use the names of companies operating in different sectors to convince users to open malicious links or attachments. Unlike in the last few quarters, the percentage of Covid-19-themed malspam decreased in the first quarter of 2021 - a clear sign that users' attention to information relating to the pandemic is waning.

Read the report (only italian version) 

For more information, please email:

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to be in touch with our initiatives.

Subscribe to news alerts

Receive latest updates about Leonardo in your mailbox

Sign up