ESET researchers said in a new report that Remote Desktop Protocol attacks rose by 768% through 2020, with 29 billion RDP attacks attempted throughout the year, according to ZDNet.
Researchers attributed the increase to the greater number of employees having to work from home last year, giving cybercriminals more openings to gain access through stolen, guessed or phished login credentials while evading detection. The ESET report noted several cases of misconfigured RDP ports, which pose a greater risk for cybercriminal infiltration.
“Misconfigured RDP in many cases leads to valuable resources, such as company servers or devices with admin rights, that represent a springboard for further, often network-wide, compromises,” said ESET specialist Ondrej Kubovič.
Cybercriminals use RDP attacks to steal information or as a starting point for a ransomware campaign. The researchers said RDP attacks declined in December, likely due to attackers taking a Christmas break, but said they expect the number of RDP attacks to increase throughout the year as cybercriminals take advantage of the remote working boom among corporations.