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A computer user points at the word "Bitcoin" in ransom message associated with the NotPetya malware. Photo: Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images.

Hackers dramatically increased the number and scope of attacks on software manufacturers as a way to attack user machines in 2017, according to a new report by Symantec. "When you look at the numbers, it's no longer one off attacks," Kevin Haley, director of Symantec Security Response, told Axios.

Why it matters: The NotPetya malware was devastating internationally, costing the shipping giant Maersk $300 million dollars alone. It spread so quickly because it was attached to an update for widely used Ukrainian accounting software. This type of attack, where malware is placed in software before it is downloaded from the manufacturer, is known as a supply chain attack and are particularly tough for users to defend against.

By the numbers: According to Symantec's new Internet Security Threat Report, there was an average of three reported supply chain attacks attacks per year from 2013 through 2015. There were 10 in 2017, up from three in 2015 and four in 2016.

Larger in scope: While past supply chain attacks focused on niche software, like the software used in industrial machinery, 2017 saw two gigantic attacks. NotPetya was one, while a second targeted the popular CCleaner file cleaning software.

A siege of nations: Supply chain attacks are difficult to pull off and frequently the domain of nations and other highly-adept groups. "It certainly takes a level of sophistication - not common cyber criminals," said Haley. The White House believes NotPetya was launched by the Russian Government, while many researchers believe CCleaner was a product of China.

Go deeper

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.

58 mins ago - Health

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health workers

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities nationwide.

The big picture: The order comes one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

Chris Cuomo in 2019. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR

CNN announced Tuesday evening that it has suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely following new revelations about his involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Driving the news: New documents released Monday showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, as well as of emerging media coverage relating to the scandal.