Reporting Cyber Security in 2017
The online cyber security company Malware Bytes have produced an end-of-year report will look at the tactics of infection, attack methods, and changing development and distribution techniques used by cybercriminals over the last 12 months. The report looks into the exponential increase of malware volume and severity year-over-year, (and which malware types are experiencing decreases), as well as trends in high-impact threats, such as ransomware and cryptomining. What the report ultimately shows is an evolution in cybercrime that’s sure to lead to even bigger bad business in 2018.
Here is a summary which provides key points for businesses and consumers.
Ransomware volume was up in 2017, but is trending downward
The last year made it clear that, for attacking businesses anyway, ransomware was the tool of choice. Our telemetry shows that in 2017, ransomware detections increased by 90 percent for business customers, climbing the charts from last year to become our fifth-most detected threat. Ransomware saw a banner year among consumers as well, with detection rates up 93 percent over 2016.
Despite such a high-profile year of high-volume outbreaks, development of new ransomware families grew stale. Closer to the end of the year, there was a significant change in distribution, with many avenues known for ransomware drops diversifying their payloads with banker Trojans and cryptocurrency miners instead.
What they can’t hold for ransom, criminals will steal instead
With ransomware slowly going out of favour, criminals pivoted to banking Trojans, spyware, and hijackers in 2017 to attack companies instead. These types of malware are used to steal data, login credentials, contact lists, credit card data, distribute more malware, and spy on a victim for information about the business or how to dig deeper into the network. We saw an increase of 40 percent in hijackers and 30 percent in spyware detections in 2017. The second half of the year also marked an average of 102 percent increase in banking Trojan detections.