Beware – Ransomware Is Still On The Rise, Says McAfee

58 percent increase in ransomware comes as cyber attacks become more ‘technically sophisticated’, McAfee Labs report warns

The latest report from security expert McAfee Labs has warned businesses to be on the lookout for ever more increasingly technical attacks.

The firm’s quarterly report, which also celebrated five years since the company was bought by Intel, found that the number of new spam URLs and their domains increased by 380 percent during the most recent quarter, as cybercriminals look for more advanced ways to attack their targets.

This includes a 58 percent rise in ransomware emails, as hackers look to capitalise on social engineering to try and con people out of their money.

Under threat

Hacker, cyber crime © Stokkete, Shutterstock 2014In total, ransomware attacks grew 127 percent from Q2 2014 to Q2 2015, with McAfee attributing this to a number of fast-growing new families such as CTB-Locker and CryptoWall, both of which hit the headlines earlier this year.

Elsewhere, the total number of mobile malware samples grew 17 percent in the quarter, however mobile malware infection rates in Europe actually saw a very slight decline (about one percent), however North America saw a four percent drop.

There was some good news regarding spam levels as well, though, as the trend of decreasing botnet generated spam volume continued in Q2 2015, thanks largely to the notorious Kelihos botnet remaining inactive.

Overall, McAfee’s malware ‘zoo’, which contains samples of all the threats it detects, grew 12 percent in the most recent quarter, and now contains over 433 million samples.

“The majority of security breaches during the past few years have been readily detectable. They were sophisticated in their planning, targeting, stalking, and execution; some were even highly technical or evasive,” the company’s report said.

“Attackers want the easiest way in and these devices often provide under-defended access to target-rich networks. We are seeing just the beginnings of attacks and breaches against them,” it adds.

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