Businesses across the globe are exposed to as many as 504 new cyber security threats every minute, while ransomware has grown 118% as hackers adopt new tactics and code innovations to steal data globally.
A new report released by cyber-security company McAfee says that more than 2bn stolen account credentials were made available in the underground market in the first quarter of this year.
McAfee says numbers tell only a fraction of the story
McAfee fellow and chief scientist Raj Samani said, “The impact of these threats is very real. It is important to recognise that the numbers, highlighting increases or decreases of certain types of attacks, only tell a fraction of the story.”
Mr Samani said, “Every infection is another business dealing with outages, or a consumer facing major fraud. We must not forget that for every cyberattack, there is a human cost involved.”
The threat data was gathered by the McAfee ‘Global Threat Intelligence’ cloud from over a billion sensors across multiple threat vectors around the world.
Spear-phishing remains popular but ransomware attacks are also increasing
According to the report while spear-phishing remained popular, ransomware attacks increasingly targeted exposed remote access points, such as remote desktop protocol (RDP).
The researchers also observed actors behind ransomware attacks using anonymous email services to manage their campaigns versus the traditional approach of setting up command-and-control (C2) servers.
The most active ransomware families of the quarter appeared to be ‘Dharma’ (also known as Crysis), GandCrab and Ryuk.
Paying ransom perpetuates cyberattacks
McAfee lead scientist and senior principal engineer Christiaan Beek said, “Paying ransoms supports cybercriminal businesses and perpetuates attacks. There are other options available to victims of ransomware. Decryption tools and campaign information are available through tools such as the No More Ransom project.”
Internet of Things (IoT) remain the weakest link in the chain
Cybercriminals also continued to take advantage of lax security in IoT devices. New malware samples increased 10% and total IoT malware grew 154% over the past four quarters.
McAfee Labs counted 412 publicly disclosed security incidents, an increase of 20% from fourth quarter of 2018. Of all publicly disclosed security incidents 32% took place in the Americas, followed by 13% in Europe and 13% in the Asia-Pacific region according to the report. A