NCSC semi-annual report with focus on cyberspace and armed conflicts

Bern, 03.11.2022 - The latest semi-annual report of the National Cybersecurity Centre NCSC deals with the most important cyberincidents of the first half of 2022 both in Switzerland and internationally. The focus topic concerns cyberspace and armed conflicts.

Armed conflicts are increasingly being conducted with the help of cyberattacks. Such attacks can be perpetrated not only by state players, but also by non-state attackers such as hacktivists or criminal groups. The Ukraine conflict in particular shows where cyberattacks can be used as a tool. This multi-faceted issue is the focus topic of this report, which explores it from a variety of angles.

Huge increase in threatening emails

In the first half of 2022, the NCSC saw a huge increase in reports from the general public. By the end of June, the NCSC had received 17,186 reports, which was around 70% more than in the previous half-year period, when 10,234 reports were received. This considerable increase was driven primarily by reports on threatening emails supposedly from the police, so-called fake extortion emails.

Fraud still leading the pack nationally

During the period under review, most of the reports to the NCSC concerned various forms of fraud (10,447 reports). About half of these were reports concerning fake extortion emails (5,872 reports). Other types of fraud included advance-fee fraud (1,834), fake sextortion (615) and classified ad fraud (419). Reports on phishing and malware remained at the same level as in the previous half-year period.

Heavy losses in investment fraud and business email compromise

Aside from ransomware, the NCSC saw the greatest potential for damage for companies in the phenomenon of business email compromise. In the first half of 2022, the NCSC received 47 reports in this regard, with total losses amounting to CHF 2.3 million. Investment fraud is one of the crimes with the highest losses, especially among private individuals. In the first half of 2022, cases with total losses exceeding CHF 3 million were reported to the NCSC.

Slight decrease in ransomware reports

Although ransomware reports edged down from 91 to 83 relative to the previous half-year period, this form of attack is still the most acute cyberthreat facing organisations in Switzerland. Since the start of the year, various organisations in Switzerland from different sectors have been the target of ransomware attacks.

Spoofing on the rise

The NCSC also saw a dramatic increase in reports concerning falsified (spoofed) telephone numbers. In this case, dubious call centres spoof the caller ID and display the telephone numbers of private individuals, thereby luring the person being contacted into taking the call. The NCSC received 319 reports in the first half of 2022, whereas there were only 17 reports in the 2021 reporting period.

Address for enquiries

NCSC Communications
Tel. 058 465 04 64


Federal Department of Finance