Europe is riddled with malware, some 20 percent more than North America according to the State of Malware report from cyber security firm Malwarebytes.
The most malware sodden nations were found to be France, the UK and Spain, though Vatican City saw a rise of 1,200 percent in malware attacks.
Despite the population differences, Britain has higher malware rates than Russia.
Ransomware is also on the rise, ranging from hitting libraries to affecting the locks on hotel rooms, the malware variant increased by 267 percent from January 2015 to November 2016, with some 81 percent of all attacks occurring in North America.
Twenty-sixteen was the year of the botnet, thanks to large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks being launched by the Mirai botnet. Malwarebytes’ report confirms this with noting that the Kelihos botnet grew by 960 percent in October and how Germany experiences a 550 percent increase in botenet detections from 2015 to 2016.
Given the amount of smartphones out in the wild, it will come as no surprise that there has been an increase in mobile malware, with Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines taking the top stops at the nations with the most mobile malware detections. However, Malwarebytes noted that in 2016 it observed mobile malware getting better at hiding itself from detection through the use of randomisation techniques.
“In the last year, we have seen a huge transition in the top malware threats and how they are distributed,” said Adam Kujawa, director of malware intelligence, Malwarebytes.
“Attackers are always seeking the greatest possible profit, causing them to shift methodology per region and geography, based on user awareness and attack success rate. The use of ransomware and ad fraud, specifically Kovter, have taken off because they provide a source of direct profit for attackers. This is the future of cybercrime, and it is imperative that we continue to study how these methods evolve over time.”
The Cisco’s Annual Cybersecurity Report 2017 also found that many hacker attacks are still using ‘classic’ techniques and vectors lie adware and email spam to infect targeted companies, indicating that companies still lack the right type of cyber defences to black such threats.
The report noted that the disparate range of security products uses by companies to protect themselves can leave gaps in the effectiveness of their protection, and a lack of trained cyber security talent and budget constraints pose barriers to providing an effective defence against both old an new cyber threats.
“In 2017, cyber is business, and business is cyber –that requires a different conversation, and very different outcomes. Relentless improvement is required and that should be measured via efficacy, cost, and well managed risk. The 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report demonstrates, and I hope justifies, answers to our struggles on budget, personnel, innovation and architecture,” said John Stewart, chief security and trust officer at Cisco.
Malware is becoming so pervasive that it has even been used to try and attack NATO member governments.
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