Symantec’s annual cybersecurity report was launched a few days ago which takes a dive into one of the largest global intelligence networks to reveal many things on where we stand in terms of cybersecurity.
Last year was a year of many new digital assets that were attacked. With every passing year, not only are the volume of attacks increasing but so are the severity of each attack.
A Year of CryptoJacking
It is now clear that cybercriminals stay on top of the latest trends.
Cryptojacking was one of the biggest attacks affecting numerous machines without people even realizing the attacks. One of the most common methods was browser-based attacks where cybercriminals insert a few lines of code to a webpage and when a user visits the webpage, they get access to the computer’s resources to mine crypto coins.
So, if you did feel that your machine suddenly started slowing down a lot, maybe you did visit one of the webpages that are pulling your resources to mine coins.
Ransomware is Back
WannaCry was the biggest cybersecurity news story of last year. The ransomware spread through the world at lightning speed and effected millions of devices around the globe. A killswitch was discovered early and prevented a worldwide disaster. What made the WannaCry attack more interesting was this was done purely with the intention of making money and with cryptocurrency growth contributing to making collections easier and also untraceable.
The other interesting thing about WannaCry is that it was self-propagating as it used the EternalBlue exploit to multiply. Petya/NotPetya, a wiper that initially appeared to be ransomware, also used this exploit to spread later on in the year.
Your Smartphone: Still Under Attack
Threats in the mobile space continue to grow year-over-year. According to the recent data by Symantec, the number of new mobile malware variants increased by 54% last year, as compared to 2016.
One of the biggest reasons for this issue is that many devices still run on older operating systems. And this is particularly true for Android devices.
IoT devices are just beginning to get on the radar and will continue to be an active target of exploitation. Symantec says that they’ve seen a 600% increase in overall IoT attacks last year, which means that cybercriminals could exploit the connected nature of these devices to mine on a much larger scale.
Things like crypto-coin mining can equally be performed taking advantage of IoT devices instead of the current version where computers and cell phones are under attack.
It’s obvious that IoT tech is only going to get more popular this year with more consumers adopting products that are based on the IoT framework.
Targeted Attacks On the Rise
Symantec also found that overall targeted attack activity is up by 10% in the previous calendar year. A major portion of the targeted attacks still use old-school methods used years ago… In other words, businesses are still not prepared to handle such scenarios and/or attacks which have been existing for years and perhaps year to come.